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The Evolution of 
George Washington University 

There is no straw given unto thy servants, 
and they say to us, Make bricks, exodus 5:16 





Copyright © 1970 by The George Washington University 

All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, 
not be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission. 
For information address the publisher, 
Appleton-Century-Crofts, Educational Division, 

Meredith Corporation, 440 Park Avenue South, 

New York, New York 10016. 

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 77-7 1089s 





Preface xiii 

1 Overview: A Century and a Half, 1821-1971 1 

2 Missions and Education, 1812-1821 12 

5 College Hill: The Lot and the Charter, 1821-1825 2 7 

4 Faculty and Students, 1821-1825 38 

j Crisis, 1825-1828 56 

6 Financial Recovery, 1828-1859 80 

7 Growth and Operation of the College, 1828-1859 90 

8 Retrospect: The College and the Medical Department, 182 1-1861 103 

5) War, 1861-1865 1 17 

10 Reconstruction, 1865-1871 127 

11 The Age of Welling, 1871-1894 141 

12 Reverses, 1895-1910 173 

13 Reorganization and Relocation, 1910-1927 213 

14 The Marvin Era, 1927-1959 249 

ij Since 1959 297 

General Bibliographical Note on Historical Materials 
in the University 313 

Chapter Bibliographical Comments and Notes 317 

Presidents of the University 344 

Index 345 



Washington planning the city. 


These pictures follow page 48 

Luther Rice (1783-1836), founder of Columbian College. 

An appeal for the contribution of funds toward the construction of the 
buildings on College Hill. 

The original College building on College Hill. 

The first building of the Medical Department. 

Enoch Reynolds, first Secretary of the Board of Trustees. 

Obadiah B. Brown, first President of the Board of Trustees. 

Henry Clay, a powerful ally in obtaining a charter for the College. 

John C. Calhoun, a strong supporter of the College. 

The Marquis de Lafayette, guest of honor at the first Commencement. 
President James Monroe, who signed the charter. 

William Staughton, D.D., first President, 1821-1827. 

Stephen Chapin, D.D., second President, 1828-1841. 

Joel Smith Bacon, D.D., third President, 1843-1854. 

Joseph Getchell Binney, D.D., fourth President, 1855-1858. 

John Withers, Trustee, 1832-1861. 

John Quincy Adams, principal creditor of the early College. 

A student’s account covering all expenses for a term (1825). 

These pictures follow page 1 12 

The seal of Columbian College, drawn by James Peale, adopted in 1821. 
The College building on College Hill after i860. 




Washington Infirmary, quarters of the Medical Department, 1844-1861. 
The Law School, 1865-1884. 

Tenth Street, showing Ford’s Theatre and the first Medical School. 

Tent wards in Columbian College General Hospital. 

Columbian College and Carver Barracks, 1 864. 

A convalescent ward in Columbian College General Hospital. 

George Whitefield Samson, D.D., fifth President, 1859-1871. 

The Medical School, 1866-1868. 

The Law School, 1899-1910. 

The Medical School, 1868-1902. 

James Clarke Welling, sixth President, 1871-1894. 

Samuel Harrison Greene, D.D., acting President, 1894-1895, 1900-1902. 
Benaiah Longley Whitman, D.D., seventh President, 1895-1900. 

Charles Willis Needham, eighth President, 1902- 19 10. 

William Wilson Corcoran, principal benefactor of the University in the 
late nineteenth century. 

These pictures follow page ij6 

“The Original Thirteen,” Columbian College, 1899-1900. 

The University building, 1884-1910. 

The three buildings of the Medical School, 1921. 

The football squad of 1908. 

Fifteenth Street, showing the University building in the right center. 

The College of Veterinary Medicine, 1908-1918. 

Charles Herbert Stockton, ninth President, 1910-1918. 

William Miller Collier, tenth President, 1918-1921. 

Howard Lincoln Hodgkins, President pro tempore, 1921-1923. 

William Mather Lewis, eleventh President, 1923-1927. 

2023 G Street, 1912-1938, the first building occupied when the University 
was relocated in the West End. 

Woodhull House, 1912, later the office of President Hodgkins. 

Porter House, 1912, later the office of President Collier. 

Quigley’s Pharmacy, 1912. 

Patterson House, 1912, later the office of President Lewis. 

New Masonic Temple, home of the Law School, 1910-1921. 

School of Pharmacy, 1906-1919. 



These pictures follow page 240 
The Law School, 1921-1925. 

“The Tin Tabernacle” at the time of its completion in 1924. 

Woodhull House, Registrar’s Office, the Easby houses, Lisner Hall, c. 1932. 
The Hall of Government, Woodhull House, Alexander Graham Bell Hall, 
Lisner Library, Gilbert Stuart Hall, the office of the President, residences 
used as offices, and Stockton Hall. 

Corcoran Hall, 1924. 

The Jacob Burns Law Library, 1968, and Stockton Hall, 1925. 
Convocation in honor of H.M. Albert, King of the Belgians, 1919. 
Delegates to the inauguration of University President William Mather 
Lewis at the White House, 1923. 

Convocation in honor of the Rt. Hon. Ramsay MacDonald, Prime Minis- 
ter of Great Britain, 1929. 

Convocation in honor of H.M. Prajadhipok, King of Siam, 1931. 
University Hospital, 1948. 

Cloyd Heck Marvin, twelfth President, 1927-1959. 

Oswald Symister Colclough, Acting President, 1959-1961, 1964-1965. 
Thomas Henry Carroll, thirteenth President, 1961-1964. 

Lloyd Hartman Elliott, fourteenth President, 1965- 
Warwick Memorial, 1954. 

Lisner Auditorium, 1946. 

These pictures follow page 304 

University Yard, Gilbert Stuart Hall, 1936; Lisner Library, 1939; Alex- 
ander Graham Bell Hall, 1935. 

Hall of Government, 1938. 

Hattie M. Strong Residence Hall for Women, 1936. 

Meyer Pavilion, the University Hospital, 1968. 

James Monroe Hall, 1951. 

Thurston Hall, 1964. 

Winter Convocation of 1929 at which President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge 
received honorary degrees. 

Commencement of 1946 at which President Harry S. Truman received an 
honorary degree and Margaret Truman her degree in course. 



Inauguration of Dr. Thomas Henry Carroll as thirteenth President of the 
University in 1962. 

Syngman Rhee, President of Korea, at the special convocation in his honor, 
1954 - 

Building C, 1970. 

Tompkins Hall, 1956. 

Luther Rice Hall, 1968, and the Joseph Henry Building, 1968. 

The University Center, 1970. 

Equestrian statue of George Washington by Clark Mills, i860. 


This book is not a history of the schools, colleges, and divisions, but of 
George Washington University itself. Unfortunately, most of the history 
of these academic units is left untouched, except insofar as it concerns 
the larger institution itself. Particularly it is to be regretted that even the 
names of many significant figures do not appear in a book already formid- 
able in size. 

What might have been an expanded summary appears as the first chapter. 
In it the purpose of the volume is stated quite fully. The material shows 
specifically the ways by which a church-related liberal arts college evolved 
into an independent urban university, ways that are described in the nar- 
rative chapters which follow Chapter i. The early history of the Uni- 
versity was truly a matter of “bricks without straw,” of maintaining and 
expanding an institution faced constantly with financial difficulties and 
valiantly paying off recurring debts, but having to wait well over a century 
before it accumulated the means for growth. 

This history is presented in terms of broad concepts, rather than in 
terms of the overall administration of the individual presidents. It is a 
topic as it involves presidents that is stressed, rather than the presidents 
themselves and their action in relation to that topic. Thus one aspect of 
the University’s history — early finances, for example — may involve more 
than one of its presidents, and the same presidents may appear also in 
another chapter dealing with the early growth of the University. For this 
reason there is no separate indication of the names and terms of office of 
the various presidents, as such, within the chapters. A chronological list 
covering this information appears on page 344. 

It is not an official history in the usual sense. No part of it has been 
submitted for criticism or approval to any officer of the University or to 
any person other than members of the Historian’s staff. For what appears, 
the author is alone responsible, and any statement which is made and not 
documented is based on his personal knowledge and experience during an 
association with the University for more than half a century. 




In the course of the preparation of the book, obligations have been in- 
curred to many people and institutions. The vast resources of the city of 
Washington, with its many libraries and collections of historical material, 
have been generously drawn upon, and the value of the material itself has 
been greatly enhanced by the courtesy and efficiency of their staffs in 
making their holdings so readily available. 

A special debt of gratitude is due Doctor Davis C. Wooley, the Execu- 
tive Secretary of the Historical Commission of the Southern Baptist 
Convention, for his encouragement, assistance, and generosity in so many 
ways; to the American Baptist Historical Society and the Virginia Baptist 
Historical Society for the ready use of the rich material in their libraries; 
and to Mrs. Luther Joe Thompson and Professor David B. Potts for valua- 
ble suggestions. 

Grateful acknowledgment is due many officers and staff members of 
George Washington University. President Lloyd H. Elliott, the late 
President Thomas H. Carroll, Dean O. S. Colclough, and Vice President 
Harold Bright have given support without which the writing of this 
history could not have been undertaken. The Director of Libraries, Rupert 
C. Woodward, has been consistently helpful and generous in many ways. 
The staffs of the libraries under Mr. Woodward and his predecessor, John 
Russell Mason, have, like their heads, been uniformly cooperative. Jessie B. 
Martin, Harvey R. Brasse, H. Earle Newcity, and R. W. Howard have 
given much valuable technical assistance. Dorothy Thompson and Donald 
S. Benton have given needed aid graciously and readily. 

The loyal assistance of Donald E. McLeod, John M. Sanderson, Jr., and 
Martin Paul Claussen, Jr., of the staff has facilitated the preparation of the 
book from the beginning of the project. A very special word of apprecia- 
tion is due Mary E. Barnes for her assistance in preparing the manuscript 
and index and the use of her ready knowledge of the materials in the 
historical collection. 

To those named and the many others who should be named, the author 
expresses his thanks with the humble feeling that without their aid, this 
history could not have been written. 

2023 G Street, N.W. 
May 1, 1969 

Elmer Louis Kayser 




Qentury and a Half 

1821-19 7/ 

T he chapters in Bricks Without Straw tell the history of a university 
rather than the history of its parts. Although there is an occasional 
flashback to throw light on life in the institution at certain periods, the 
emphasis is on the University as a whole, a corporate entity. While some 
of its experiences may have been unique, most of them have been char- 
acteristic enough to make this a useful case history in American higher 

The institution has been known by three names — Columbian College in 
the District of Columbia, Columbian University, and George Washington 
University. It has had three major sites — College Hill, Midtown, and the 
West End. It is significant that all three sites have been located within a 
relatively limited area in northwest Washington. In a sense, Washington 
has no hinterland. The city is the District, and the District is the city. 
The two early became coterminous. A capital city was created by mandate 
and laid out anew, forming a distinct political unit, virtually sitting astride 
two political zones. The College really had no choice but to gravitate 
toward the urban university, and, in fact, to become one of the first truly 
urban universities. The city itself, then, was a major factor in shaping the 

Of equal importance, at least for the first century, was the problem of 
denominational relationship. In all candor we must say that this problem 
was more acute in its financial than in its ideological aspects. Pride was 
strong in the College, as one of the first fruits of the Baptist denomination 
as a denomination. Denominational contacts were cherished. On the side 



Bricks Without Straw 

of the institution, denominational support, since apparently no other was 
earmarked for its use, was of prime importance. There was no original 
endowment; in fact, the purchase of College Hill before the Charter was 
granted was the only one of the College’s early financial transactions that 
was fully funded in advance. 

The intent of Congress in chartering Columbian College was quite 
clear. The petition for a charter which would give the Baptist Conven- 
tion certain corporate rights, among them the right to engage in education, 
was summarily rejected. The Charter which was granted imposed upon 
the College a strictly nonsectarian character, and gave to the Attorney 
General of the United States the right of inspection and examination. In 
spite of the Congressional intent, Baptist ingenuity established virtual 
control by two means. The first was the Charter provision that Trustees 
should be elected by the contributors in a way to be established in an 
ordinance by the Board of Trustees. Since the contributors, as defined in 
the ordinances, were largely individual Baptists and Baptist bodies, the 
slate drawn up and approved by the Convention was bound to be elected. 
The second was the fact that the title to College Hill was held by the 
Convention and the property was leased to the College. Should at any 
time less than three-fourths of the Trustees be members of the Baptist de- 
nomination, the lease was broken. 

There was never any subvention or guaranteed underwriting by the 
denomination. The church relationship authorized and stimulated solicita- 
tion of funds from individual Baptists and Baptist bodies. These con- 
tributions were supposed to support the academic program, pay for 
administration and maintenance, and provide funds for plant improvement 
and expansion. The income from tuition and from boarders was uncertain 
and indefinite, although the hope was ever alive that some day operating 
expenses could be fully met from this source. The College was generous 
to those who wanted to attend. Many a poor boy, looking toward the 
ministry and armed with a letter from his pastor attesting his Christian 
character and intention to enter the ministry, would be admitted for 
reduced fees or no fees at all. Many contributors availed themselves of 
the right to nominate for scholarships. The number of students registered 
was unfortunately no index to the amount of tuition that would be col- 

When the indebtedness incurred during the first five years of actual 
operation reached a dangerous point, alarm became general. When it 
appeared that someone had to be blamed, Luther Rice, vulnerable because 


Overview: A Century and a Half, 1821-1971 

of his poor business habits, was made the scapegoat. The Baptist Conven- 
tion pointed out that it was not responsible for the support of the College, 
commended it to the attention of Christian people as deserving of support, 
and promised continued and prayerful sympathy. The dissolution of the 
College might easily have taken place. There was a resignation of key 
Trustees. The unpaid faculty had come to the end of its patience, and 
offered resignations. The student body, shaken by uncertainties, began to 
melt away. The exercises of the College were suspended. 

One well-timed and intelligent move saved the College. A group of 
influential Baptists whose names commanded instant respect met in New 
York on May 9, 1826, and called for the subscription of $50,000 to pay 
the debt within a period of two years. The subscriptions were to be 
payable when and if the entire amount was pledged and when the repre- 
sentatives of the group certified that the necessary conditions had been 
met. Thanks to the generous leniency of its creditors and to energetic 
fund raising, the College regained its solvency. Although the Convention 
wished to abandon its role in the nomination of Trustees, the Board itself 
urged the continuance of the practice. This form of denominational 
contact it considered desirable and profitable, even though the Convention 
was, at the time, reasserting its original and primary interest in missions 
as its sole concern. 

The type of church relationship that was developed and maintained 
during the first quarter-century of the College’s history might have 
gone on indefinitely, but for the slavery issue and the great Baptist 
schism. When, in spite of efforts to maintain unity, the issue of slave- 
holding drove a wedge between its northern and southern members, the 
Baptist General Convention for Foreign Missions, which held title to 
College Hill, was dissolved. As one of its last acts the Convention trans- 
ferred the title in fee simple to the College. Thus ended one of the two 
tangible links in the church connection. The other remained in existence 
for another quarter-century. 

In 1871, because (and the change in temper is interesting) it was thought 
that a more widely based Board, freed of denominational entanglements, 
would add to the institution’s prestige and open the way for more general 
solicitation of funds, a change in the Charter made the Board of Trustees 
a self-perpetuating body. The princely generosity of Mr. W. W. Cor- 
coran, an Episcopalian, who was to serve as president of the Board of 
Trustees, confirmed the validity of the new arrangement. Also in 1871, a 
layman was elected president of the College for the first time. 


Bricks Without Straw 

It was toward the close of this lay president’s administration that the 
College, now transformed into a university in educational structure as 
well as in name, looked again wistfully to the Baptists. In the absence of 
any other sponsor, it was hoped that denominational pride in an institution 
which Baptists had started in the national capital would incline them 
toward undertaking a major part in financing it. The Baptist Educational 
Society expressed interest but declined support. 

The next step was, perhaps, a natural one. Aware that a wealthy Baptist 
was about to contribute a very large sum to some existing church-related 
institution, the Trustees in 1898 successfully petitioned Congress to change 
the nonsectarian character of the Charter, and to provide denominational 
control by requiring that the president and two-thirds of the Trustees 
should be members of regular Baptist churches. But Baptist control did 
not bring the expected millions to Columbian University, and after six 
years the Trustees asked for the restoration of the original Charter. These 
six years, 1898-1904, were the only period when the University was 
sectarian in control by Charter requirement. 

In the quarter-century following the restoration of the original Charter, 
various proposals were made for the resumption of Baptist control, but 
the character of the University after a century of activity had become 
fixed. The day for denominational control had passed forever. It is fair 
to say that almost at any time in the nineteenth century, a proposal for 
Baptist control joined with insured financial support would have been 
readily accepted. It took the traumatic experience of 1898-1904, when 
change to sectarian control failed to entice the expected millions, to end 
forever a long-cherished idea that financial support might be obtained 
from denominational sources. The nondenominational character of the 
University was confirmed when the older idea was subjected to pragmatic 
test and failed to produce. 

In fairness, it must be said that there was never a continuing struggle 
to free itself of Baptist control. Rice felt that the Trustees put in at the 
time of the 1826 crisis had such an idea. If they did, it was never carried 
out. The institution did not throw off Baptist control. It envolved out 
of it. 

Why did the Baptists select the District of Columbia as the site of 
the mother college of the denomination? They felt that its central 
position would give permanence, would arouse the interest of those in 
various parts of the country and, in so doing, strengthen the Union. 

The founding of a college in the new capital was an event of consider- 

Overview: A Century and a Half, 1821-1971 5 

able importance. Not only had the great Washington urged the establish- 
ment there of a national university and many of his contemporaries and 
his successors voiced the same desire, but it seemed proper that among 
the institutions of the city should be a college, more broadly based 
than the Jesuit college in the neighboring city of Georgetown, which 
would represent in a tangible way the dedication of the new city 
to culture. The politically eminent of the day were among the con- 
tributors to the fund which purchased College Hill. The President 
of the United States bestowed his blessings on the College, and attendance 
upon its formal public ceremonies became a fixed social custom. To a 
young city of less than fifteen thousand inhabitants, a new college was a 
notable addition. Its student body was drawn from all sections of the 
Union, with a few foreign students from time to time. Clearly, the early 
College held a favored position in the life of the city. The modest size 
of the federal establishment by no means dwarfed the College. 

In the absence of public secondary schools, the Academy that was 
established immediately after the opening of the College was an important 
addition to the meager educational opportunities available in the city. 
Offering not only a course for college preparation, but a terminal course 
for those who planned to enter business and other nonprofessional callings, 
it gave sound training for three-quarters of a century. With the develop- 
ment of public secondary education in the later nineteenth century it was 
no longer deemed necessary, or even proper, for the University to main- 
tain Columbian Academy, and the preparatory department was discon- 
tinued. In its prime, the Academy contributed greatly to the close ties 
between city and College. 

The loyalty of the city to its College stood the institution in good 
stead, as the development of colleges in the North tended more and 
more to lead young men who otherwise would have attended Columbian 
to go to nearer colleges. This trend was so noticeable that Columbian 
made special efforts to recruit in the states north of the District, but it 
was unable to stem the movement that made the College student body 
largely southern. Luther Rice was quite conscious of what was happening 
and was apparently not too dissatisfied with the situation. His fund- 
raising tours in the latter part of his life (he died in 1836) were practically 
confined to the southern states. The establishment of a Baptist-related 
college in Richmond was a heavy blow to the College’s patronage in the 
state of Virginia, from which Columbian had drawn students in large 
numbers. It is easy to understand the concern of a Corresponding Commit- 


Bricks Without Straw 

tee seeking a successor to President Binney as it stated the basic problem: 
“Whether a college standing on Mason and Dixon’s line, looking for stu- 
dents chiefly from the Southern Border as one does and having such funds 
as ours has can sustain itself.” In i860, shortly after he entered upon his 
duties, the new president, Samson, announced that he was going north 
to raise funds, it being useless to go south. Soon the Trustees were to autho- 
rize the treasurer to accept Virginia currency in payment of students’ 
obligations. Uncertain though it was in value, it was better than nothing 
at all. 

Until the coming of the War of 1861-1865, the local area and its environs 
had shown no phenomenal growth. In the thirty-year period 1820-1850 
the greater Washington area had increased only 28 per cent in population. 1 
Washington was still a small city. Although the College was forced to 
seek its students more and more in the capital area, that area was not 
furnishing a rapidly increasing reservoir of population from which an 
increasing number of students could be drawn. All things considered, it 
was surprising that the College could hold its student body at the level 
that it tried to maintain. Operating deficits were regular, even though 
little was spent for maintenance of aging facilities. Instead of building 
a new and needed structure, the mansard roof on the old college building 
was raised to provide an additional full story. 

The War of 1861-1865 did many things to the city and the College. 
College Hill was taken over by the government and became the site of 
important military installations. Shortly after the hospital in Judiciary 
Square was commandeered, it burned down. The College had few students 
left, and no facilities for their housing. The student body was reducd to a 
handful of local youths who were instructed in the homes of the faculty. 
The government paid the College a rental. Those funds took care of the 
accumulated indebtedness. They should have been held for the restoration 
of the property after four years of military occupancy. 

The city experienced a great influx of new inhabitants, some temporary, 
many permanent. A vast staff of civilian employees was required by the 
War Department, involved as it was in the maintenance of large armies. 
The Army of the Potomac was organized, and many of its units were 
quartered in the city and its neighboring defenses. When the War was 
over, the government still maintained a large personnel in the capital. The 
Pension Bureau alone was responsible for hundreds of employees. The 
capital city was magnificent only in its distances. In that war-worn city it 
was hard to find any traces of L’Enf ant’s dream. Population growth was 


Overview: A Century and a Half, 1821-1971 

henceforth to be of a different order. Out of the chaos was to emerge 
the orderly city of its designer. 

After the War several factors confirmed and hastened the change that 
had already begun. The College plant was in ill repair; and because the 
substantial funds needed for its restoration were not available, it was 
impossible to operate it as a residential college. The expanding city was 
pushing beyond the old corporate limits. Because the College used only 
the middle third of its elongated grounds, the authorities saw a possibility 
of getting a substantial lump sum or a fixed income from the sale of the 
south plot, nearest the city boundary, or from the subdivision of the area. 
In line with this possibility, the land along Fourteenth Street, a main 
artery for north-south traffic, was subdivided for business, and all the 
remaining land in the south plot was subdivided for residences at a value 
per square foot a third less than that fixed for the Fourteenth Street 
frontage. The disposal of the old College property was under way; the 
sale of the north lot, and then of the College grounds proper, was shortly 
to follow. 

This economic factor was reinforced by another which was both eco- 
nomic and educational. Many of the new civil servants with whom the city 
now abounded found themselves domiciled in a town that offered very 
little cultural and educational enrichment. These people worked a short 
day and were happy to have a chance to attend afternoon classes at Colum- 
bian College. The College sensed the demand and, at first experimentally, 
made administrative adjustments to facilitate the attendance of these em- 
ployed students. It became quickly obvious that the demand was real and 
substantial. A very practically-minded president summed up the situation 
by concluding that there was no reason why instruction should not be 
given where and when it would be convenient for the people who wanted 
it and were willing to pay for it. 

This decision had deeply significant results. The employed students 
wanted not only the subjects embraced within the standard undergraduate 
liberal arts and sciences program. Many were mature people, with degrees, 
who were seeking advanced courses. Others wanted practical courses 
such as applied science and engineering. Because the city was the seat of 
government the need was easily met. Washington had in the government 
service a vast reservoir of potential teachers of great ability, particularly 
in the sciences. The employed students wanted courses after working 
hours, and the government experts, many of them former college teachers, 
were available to offer instruction at these hours. Part-time students and 


Bricks Without Straw 

part-time instructors together increased rapidly and came to occupy a 
large place in the College’s financing and educational organization. The 
Corcoran Scientific School was organized initially to give this type of 
educational service to both men and women. Demands for advanced study 
and the availability of highly qualified graduate instructors made possible 
the establishment of the School of Graduate Studies in the arts and 
sciences, which granted both masters’ and doctors’ degrees and offered 
graduate courses in jurisprudence and diplomacy. 

In the breadth and depth of its educational offerings the College had 
become a university. This was formally recognized by a change in name 
in 1873 when, by an amendment of the Charter, Columbian College be- 
came Columbian University. Shortly thereafter the University picked H 
Street between Thirteenth and Fifteenth Streets as the new site. On those 
two blocks all the University’s activities were gathered. Moving out of 
what had been farm land when it first occupied it — the middle of a rather 
large acreage, with room to expand — the University now found itself in 
an expensive but convenient area, the very heart of the financial district. 
The University occupied high-priced, downtown, city real estate, difficult 
to acquire. Washington in 1821 was a village. In the 1880’s it had already 
taken on the aspect of a considerable city. At its founding the College 
had to house and feed the students within its own walls. Sixty years later 
it could not house its students, nor did it need to. The city was sufficiently 
large to absorb them without difficulty. Washington was beginning to 
dress up and the University buildings on H Street were not out of key 
with their surroundings. 

Funds realized from the sale of College Hill, supplemented by any other 
money that the University could find, even by dipping into restricted 
funds, did not yield enough to cover the costs of land acquisition and 
construction on H Street. The University was more deeply in debt than 
ever before. As it expanded its offerings and tried to make more and more 
of the universe of knowledge its province, the debt increased. Efforts to 
raise funds in Washington and to find outside sponsors proved equally 

A badly conceived economy move, involving among other things the 
early retirement of two distinguished professors to cut down instructional 
charges, cost the University the loss of the advantages of the Carnegie 
pension plan and precipitated a public discussion of the University’s ills 
which brought on the Attorney General’s investigation of 1910. A very 
sick patient underwent major surgery. It was shown that, in order to 


Overview. A Century and a Half, 1821-1 971 

pay for land and building construction and to meet operating deficits, the 
institution had used up practically all of its modest endowment. To 
restore the endowment and lift the debt, the imposing University build- 
ing and the Law School were sold and a mortgage in the University’s 
favor was put on the Medical School properties. An institution which 
was not unacquainted with misfortune touched its nadir in 1910. Only 
the Medical School was housed on University property. Everything else — 
administration, arts and sciences, law — was in inadequate, temporary, 
rented quarters. 

The coming of Admiral Stockton to the presidency and the purchase 
of 2023 G Street for a modest sum in 1912 marked the turn in the tide. 
Strict economy and the patient use of old buildings, slightly modified 
for college purposes, together with unfailing faculty loyalty and for- 
bearance, made balanced budgets possible and permitted the slow but 
constant acquisition of small parcels of land for expansion. The Centennial 
Celebration of 1921 marked the beginning of preparations for the first 
major fund-raising campaign; and the construction of Corcoran Hall in 
1924, the beginning of the building of a new University plant. 

The fifteen or twenty years following the crisis of 1910 were rather 
complicated in their effects on the development of the institution. The 
Spartan austerity of those years restored public confidence in the 
University financially and educationally and laid the firm basis for the ex- 
pansion during the Marvin years. At the same time, to those who look 
at outward things — and unfortunately many do — the prestige of the Uni- 
versity was not greatly enhanced. The city, especially after the First 
World War, had become more and more monumental with great new 
structures like the Lincoln Memorial and the buildings of the Federal 
Triangle. The modest brick structures on College Hill had been looked 
upon as outstanding when they were built. The University building 
at Fifteenth and H Streets was massive and impressive and looked quite 
fitting in the middle of a financial district. But the modified dwellings and 
built-on classrooms that clustered around 2023 G Street looked too much 
like the decayed area in which they were located. Public taste was 
demanding impressive structures, and few of its fellow townsmen knew 
where George Washington University was. 

President Marvin realized this and began, with very meager means, to 
make the University an architectural fact. Proceeding with great economy, 
he first made the north side of G Street between Twentieth and Twenty- 
first Streets with its three major structures a visible representation of the 


Bricks Without Straw 

University. He worked toward the grouping of buildings around this 
nucleus. People knew then where the University was. The University 
had started building impressive structures which could hold their own in 
a monumental city. Generous patrons, and particularly the federal 
government with outright grants, matching gifts, low interest rates with 
long periods for payment, made possible the continued policy of building 
impressive structures, in the best Washington manner, in the University 
triangle south and east of Washington Circle. 

In yet another form, governmental cooperation was exceedingly signif- 
icant. Even in its early years, the College had looked upon its location 
in the capital as offering rare opportunity for the close observation of the 
working of the various branches of the government and for the use of the 
first-hand knowledge, thus gained, in the total education of the student. 
As the governmental institutions developed beyond the bare bones of 
executive, legislative, and judicial business, as such institutions as the 
Smithsonian and the Library of Congress took form and the burgeoning 
departments began to develop research activities to strengthen and expand 
their operations, a new and more intimate contact with the agencies of 
government was in order. Gradually these agencies, some governmental, 
some quasi-governmental, began to have importance, through their facili- 
ties and research, for practically every department of instruction. The 
increasingly large group of specialists attached to them offered a rich 
reservoir from which lecturers and part-time teachers could be drawn. 
The joint resolution of the Houses of Congress on April 12, 1891, which 
placed the facilities of the government at the service of educational 
institutions, formalized for the first time this type of governmental co- 
operation. By the fortunate fact of its location, the University could make, 
and has made, continuous and increasing use of these governmental 
facilities in the city and its environs. 

It was, perhaps, by logical progression that this University, as did uni- 
versities throughout the land, found itself able not only to take from but to 
give to the government, through sponsored research, types of needed 
service utilizing academic facilities, personnel, and know-how. This devel- 
opment has had a massive effect on University finances. It has taken a 
major position in the University budget, increasing commitments but con- 
tributing substantial sums to the University’s income. 

The institution’s great handicap through the years had been its lack of 
money to grow on. Deficits occurred periodically. When they became 
alarmingly large, a vigorous effort would be instituted to clear them up 

Overview: A Century and a Half, 1S21-1971 11 

or reduce them. There had never been, during the first century, any 
considerable accumulation to finance expansion. With the steady acquisi- 
tion of land, particularly during the last quarter of a century, building 
sites were assembled and new methods of finance made construction 
possible. In the development of a new physical plant, attention was given 
to student housing and feeding and recreational units. The result was 
to make the undergraduate student body largely a resident one in an 
incredibly short time. The part-time student body ceased to have its 
overwhelming importance and the College again, as in the first period of 
its history, became basically one with a full-time student body, largely 
housed on the campus. At the same time the interests of part-time, 
employed students were in no measure neglected. The University’s mission 
in this area has been so firmly rooted in its history that, regardless of 
marked expansion in perhaps more traditional fields, it will always be 
concerned, as well, with those who earn while they learn. 


^Missions and Education 


A merica began early in her history to be a land of colleges. At the 
J. \-time of the Declaration of Independence, there were nine colleges, 
the oldest of them having already arrived at the venerable age of one 
hundred and forty years. These institutions, stretching from Massachusetts 
to Virginia, owed their origin to a rugged determination on the part of 
the Colonists not to allow their youth to grow up as barbarians, as strange 
as the study of Latin and Greek might seem on the narrow margin of an 
untamed wilderness. Unawed by difficulties, they were going to provide in 
the New World the amenities of the Old, as far as they could. Hopefully, 
they would supply here sound learning in the manner and of the type 
that they had known in England, consciously or unconsciously condi- 
tioned by changing moods of thought, political circumstance, and social 

The Revolution brought many changes. Frederick Rudolph has sum- 
marized its effects: “The legacy of the American Revolution to the 
American college was, then, a heavy mixture of French deism, unruly 
students, state controls, and a widely held belief that the colleges were 
now serving a new responsibility to a new nation: the preparation of 
young men for responsible citizenship in a republic that must prove itself, 
the preparation for lives of usefulness of young men who also intended 
to prove themselves .” 1 

“The preparation of young men for responsible citizenship”: This 
was exactly the motive which led Washington to make his proposals for 
a university at the new seat of government. Although it never profited 


Missions and Education, 1812-1821 13 

from his generosity, the institution which today bears his name has 
found in his efforts and utterances an urge to strive for his ideal, even 
though it owes its origin to other men and to other springs of action. 
Washington’s true legacy to American higher education was not his 
bequest of stock in the Potomac Company, which no institution received, 
but his faith in education for citizenship which all have accepted. 

The idea of a national university was by no means novel with Washing- 
ton. From the time Richard Rush in 1786 made the first formal proposals 
for an institution of higher learning, emphasizing graduate study and 
research, the idea had claimed the attention of many individuals and 
even of the Constitutional Convention. Washington, as President and as 
private citizen, was most zealous in its advocacy and even selected a site 
in the new city, immediately south and west of the area occupied today 
by George Washington University. Nothing having been accomplished 
in his lifetime, he left the shares in the Potomac Company, which had been 
given him by the state of Virginia, “towards the endowment of a Uni- 
versity to be established within the limits of the District of Columbia, 
under the auspices of the General Government, if that government should 
incline to extend a fostering hand towards it.” The fostering hand was 
never extended, and on May 16, 1825, the stockholders assented to an 
arrangement whereby all the rights and interests of the Potomac Company 
were conveyed to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company. 2 

In liquidating the affairs of the Potomac Company, it was arranged that 
stock in that company could be exchanged for shares of the new Chesa- 
peake and Ohio Canal Company. Stock thus acquired, however, was 
subject to severe qualification. All holders of stock paid for in cash were 
to share in the first 10 per cent of net profit per annum. Up to 10 per 
cent of any profit remaining was to be paid to stockholders who had 
received shares in return for certificates of debt of the Potomac Company. 
Finally, if anything remained, up to 6 per cent of it was to be paid to those 
who had exchanged Potomac Company shares for shares in the new 

Meanwhile the title of Washington’s shares remained vested in the 
Commonwealth of Virginia until 1832, when, on the petition of Lawrence 
Lewis to the General Assembly, they and any proceeds were transferred 
to Lewis, General Washington’s surviving executor, his heirs, and his 
assigns, with the right to appropriate and apply them to the uses set forth 
in Washington’s will. The capital stock of the new company was fixed at 
$6,000,000, or 60,000 shares of $100 each. Washington’s shares of the 


Bricks Without Straw 

Potomac Company were exchangeable for 222 shares at $100 par of the 
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company. That the earnings of the new 
company would ever produce a sum that would permit payment of 
dividends to the least preferred class of stockholders was impossible. 
Lawrence Lewis apparently did not even make the exchange of stock. 
There is no record of these shares after they were assigned to him by the 
General Assembly of Virginia . 3 

Although Washington’s bequest evaporated in value, his noble words 
describing his ideas of the function of a university in the nation’s capital 
have remained. They are worth repeating. 

That as it has always been a source of serious regret with me to see the youth 
of these United States sent to foreign countries for the purpose of education, 
often before their minds were formed, or they had imbibed any adequate 
ideas of the happiness of their own; — contracting, too frequently, not only 
habits of dissipation and extravagance, but principles unfriendly to Republican 
Government and to the true and genuine liberties of mankind; which, there- 
after are rarely overcome. — For these reasons, it has been my ardent wish to 
see a plan devised on a liberal scale which would have a tendency to spread 
systematic ideas through all parts of this rising Empire, thereby to do away 
local attachments and State prejudices, as far as the nature of things would, or 
indeed ought to admit, from our national councils. — Looking anxiously forward 
to the accomplishment of so desirable an object as this is (in my estimation) 
my mind has not been able to contemplate any plan more likely to effect 
the measure than, the establishment of a University in a central part of the 
United States to which the youths of fortune and talents from all parts thereof 
might be sent for the completion of their education in all the branches of 
polite literature; — in arts and sciences — in acquiring knowledge in the principles 
of Politics and good Government; — and (as a matter of infinite importance in 
my judgment) by associating with each other, and forming friendships in 
Juvenile years, be enabled to free themselves in a proper degree from those 
Local prejudices and which, when carried to excess, are never failing sources 
of disquietude to the Public mind and pregnant of mischievous consequences 
to this country . 4 

In the early nineteenth century, a new set of motives was to lead to 
a remarkable activity in the founding of colleges. While the natural 
logic of a federal form of government suggested the formation of state 
institutions of higher learning, denominational loyalty and a sense of 
mission in the churches inspired the establishment of colleges in vaster 
numbers. The Great Awakening in its day had made a deep impression on 
the colleges. The Second Awakening quickened tremendously the mis- 
sionary spirit in the various denominations. George Washington Uni- 

Missions and Education, 1812-1821 15 

versity owes its origin to this missionary spirit which aimed, by the 
renewal of the faith of church members generally, to lead them to give 
generously to the spreading of the Gospel at home and the extension of 
its teaching in partibus infidelium. While the noble utterances of George 
Washington on the subject of education for citizenship were never for- 
gotten, the appeal was primarily to Christian duty toward the heathen and 
denominational loyalty. The greater emphasis was on citizenship in the 
Heavenly Jerusalem rather than in the Earthly Babylon. At a later date 
the emphasis was to shift, just as radically, to the Washington ideal. 

George Washington University is a product of the Second Awakening. 
Its spiritual origin is to be found in the famous “Haystack Meeting” at 
Williams College in 1806. For it was in the missionary dynamism aroused 
by this meeting that Rice, the founder of the University, was later caught 
up and that determined the whole direction of his life’s work. 

Luther Rice (1783-1836) began to mature socially, intellectually, and 
spiritually on his return to his home at Northborough, Massachusetts, from 
a trip to Georgia to buy timber for shipbuilding at the age of sixteen. He 
read many pieces of devotional literature, and began to discuss religion 
eagerly with all who would talk with him. Three years later he joined the 
Church of Christ, a Congregational church, in Northborough. But he 
was not satisfied with his church; he was all too well aware of its in- 
adequacies: “corrupt . . . neglectful of its duties.” 5 

To improve the local situation, he began to hold frequent “religious 
conferences” with groups in private homes, where there were prayer, 
meditation, and exhortation. So marked was his activity that a neighbor- 
ing Calvinistic minister urged him to undertake formal study in prep- 
aration for larger service. Rice was in a state of great concern: “im- 
patience, anxiety, hope, fear, distress, perplexity, confusion, shame, folly, 
stupidity, etc.” He sought “illumination and converting grace.” 6 Time 
seemed to be running out. Death was ever before him. Insignificant 
incidents became signs and portents of great solemnity. Gradually the 
skies brightened; he had brief interludes of calm and of “a sweet frame of 
mind.” The moment of unconditional surrender to God came: “I con- 
cluded that had I an opportunity, I would actually put a blank in God’s 
hand to be filled as his pleasure should dictate.” 7 Clearly Luther Rice was 
a child of the Second Awakening. 

To prepare himself for whatever God should dictate, he entered 
Leicester Academy, still carrying on his religious work. By sandwiching 
teaching with study, he was able to make his way. In 1807, at the age 


Bricks Without Straw 

of twenty-four, he was admitted to Williams College and, on the basis of 
his previous studies, was given advanced standing. 

In the summer of the preceding year had occurred the famous “Haystack 
Meeting” at Williams, when five students, driven by a sudden storm to 
the shelter of a haystack while holding an outdoor prayer meeting, bound 
themselves to work toward the conversion of the world. Out of their 
discussions came the formation of a secret society, “The Brethren,” of 
which Luther Rice was a charter member. Looking back over his career 
late in life, he wrote: “I esteem it the happiest point in my life to have 
been one of the original members.” 8 

From Williams, Rice and some of “The Brethren” went to Andover 
Seminary in 1810, where, joining with others, including Adoniram Judson, 
they formed a “Society of Inquiry on the Subject of Missions.” Rice 
became president of the group. Judson seems to have had a marked 
interest in Asia as an area for missionary effort, which impressed Rice. 

As his course at the Seminary approached completion, Rice found him- 
self facing a great decision, for which he had had ten years of active 
preparation. He had already been licensed to preach, but now he was 
fully trained for the ministry. What use was he going to make of his life 
and of his profession? The hand of God was filling in the blank. To 
Christianize the world was the solemn undertaking and pledge of “The 
Brethren.” Rice was about to begin as he had promised. 

The need of one young man, Gordon Hall, to decide immediately 
whether to remain in the pastorate or undertake a career as a missionary, 
coupled with the fact that a meeting of the General Association of 
evangelical ministers in Massachuetts was scheduled to be held in a few 
days in Bradford, just ten miles from Andover, brought to a head the 
problem regarding foreign missions which faced the members of the 
society. The decision was taken, whereupon six of the members signed a 
memorial, drawn up by Adoniram Judson, to be presented to the General 
Association. It was a mature document, humble in spirit but characterized 
by sound practicality. It stated that the members of the group had given 
the matter careful and prayerful consideration and, on that basis, deemed 
themselves as devoted until their lives’ ends to the work of missionaries. 
Such was their own conviction; but, with great tact and humility, they 
inquired of their Reverend Fathers “whether they ought to renounce the 
object of missions, as either visionary or impracticable.” They asked 
whether they should look to the eastern or the western world, whether 
they could expect the patronage of an American missionary society or 

Missions and Education, 1812-1821 I’j 

should look to one in Europe for support, and what preparatory steps 
they should take. 

Since the society’s deliberations had been carried on in secret, no one 
outside the group was aware of the depth and intensity of conviction that 
the memorial expressed. When, at the last minute, a faculty adviser was 
consulted, he expressed the fear that such apparently precipitate action 
on the part of so large a group would cause alarm. To reduce the likeli- 
hood of such a reaction, it was suggested that only four signatures appear 
and that the last two — one of them Luther Rice’s — be omitted. When the 
memorial with its four signatures was laid before the association on June 
27, 1810, affirmative action was immediately taken. The committee ap- 
pointed to examine the proposals reported on them sympathetically as 
“calling for correspondent attention and exertions.” It was ordered that 
there be instituted a Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, of 
nine members, “to devise, adopt, and prosecute ways and means for 
propagating the Gospel among those who are destitute of the knowledge 
of Christianity.” An immediate investigation was authorized to suggest 
possible fields of activity. The board approved the readiness of the young 
men to become missionaries and urged them to continue their studies until 
the necessary arrangements could be completed. An eloquent appeal for 
financial support was issued. 

The approval of the proposal and the speed with which rapid planning 
got under way reflect the skill and good judgment with which Judson 
had drawn up the memorial expressing the desires of the group. 

At the second meeting of the commissioners it was reported that four 
young men had been examined and approved for missionary service. The 
four were Judson, Newell, and Nott, whose names had been signed to 
the memorial, and Gordon Hall. 9 

Showing their respect for the proposals, the commissioners sent 
Adoniram Judson to England to confer with the directors of the London 
Missionary Society to see if the English group would cooperate financially, 
and, if so, under what conditions. The London society had had long 
experience in the field and had considerable financial strength. Prudence 
suggested that they be approached, even though there was some militant 
nationalism among the Americans that recoiled at the thought of British 
control. The London group settled the issue. A formal communication 
from them was filled with sound advice, born out of their experiences, 
but the question of support was totally avoided. 10 

On the basis of the fullest information they could assemble, the com- 


Bricks Without Straw 

missioners decided to establish two mission stations, one in Burmah and 
the other among the American Indians in the West. Funds were assembled 
and sailing arrangements were completed for sending the four who had 
been examined and passed. A day was fixed for their ordination. 

At this point Luther Rice, whose name had been omitted from the 
memorial as presented and who therefore had not been included in the 
arrangements, came forward and insisted that he be added to the group. 
Fortified with convincing recommendations, his fervent appeals to the 
commissioners persuaded them, even though they lacked funds and had 
some misgivings, to accept Rice and authorize his ordination along with 
the four previously approved. Rice had to raise the necessary funds 
within a fortnight. This he did by dint of the most extreme exertions in 
the dead of winter. The schedule was tight, and there was no time to be 
wasted. Ordination was fixed for February 6, 1812, allowing him just 
enough time to get to Philadelphia where three of the missionaries (one 
acquired a wife on the way) were to embark on the Harmony bound 
for Calcutta. 

The service of ordination was held in Salem in the old Tabernacle 
Meeting House, which was crowded to the doors. The service began at 
eleven in the forenoon and lasted for four hours. The Reverend Pro- 
fessor Leonard Woods of Andover preached the sermon of ordination, 
finding his text in Psalm lxvii, and in solemn mood assured his listeners 
that they were now looking upon these dear young men “for the last time, 
before you shall meet them at the tribunal of Christ.” The Reverend 
Dr. Samuel Spring of the North Church in Newburyport charged them 
to let the Lord be their portion, Christ their leader, grace their speech, 
humility their dress, prayer their breath, the glory of God their object, 
and heaven their final rest. The Reverend Dr. Samuel Worcester, in giving 
the Right Hand of Fellowship, formally acknowledged Judson, Nott, 
Newell, Hall, and Rice as duly authorized ministers of Christ and presented 
them to God “as a kind of first fruits of his American churches.” 6 * * * * 11 

Rice wrote in his Journal for the day: 

6. Thur. Received ordination, together with Brothers Gordon Hall, Adon- 

iram Judson Jnr., Samuel Newell, Samuel Nott, Jnr. in Salem, Massachusetts, 

as a Missionary to the East Indies. The occasion was solemn and interesting, 

but worn down with fatigue and agitation of mind, I did not realize it as im- 

pressively as was desirable, in an event most sacred in its nature, and under 

God, probably determining my future lot in life. 12 


Missions and Education, 1812-1821 

On that very evening Nott, Hall, and Rice left in great haste for 
Philadelphia. On the way Nott was married. There were some delays 
in sailing which Rice utilized to spread the missionary cause and to 
collect further contributions. On the evening of February 18, the three 
missionaries and Mrs. Nott boarded the Harmony, which was then riding 
at Newcastle. They were on their way to Asia. 

The voyage, delayed in starting, was wearisome in length and troubled 
at its conclusion. The time had not been well chosen. France and England 
were at war; and while the missionaries were at the Isle of France, the 
United States declared war on Great Britain. When they arrived they 
found the British East India Company and the officials who carried out 
its mandates hostile to missionaries and prepared to expel them. 

When Rice landed at Calcutta on August 10, he found Judson, who 
had arrived earlier on the Caravan, waiting to greet him. Judson was 
then seriously engaged in the study of baptism. It was, of course, no 
new subject for a theologian. In fact both men had given much thought 
to the problem. When they met in Calcutta, Judson was about convinced 
that he should make the change to the Baptist faith, and he was baptized. 
Rice was still inclined to argue. But soon after Judson was baptized, 
Rice, after some hesitation, applied for baptism and was accordingly 
baptized on November 1, 1812. 

On October 23, two days before he applied for baptism, Rice dutifully 
wrote the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions of his 
change in religious sentiments. When the board met on September 15, 
1813, it received from its Prudential Committee a very full report on its 
missionary enterprises up to that time. It also had before it letters from 
both Adoniram Judson and Luther Rice. In answer, the board formally 
declared that its relations with the two missionaries were dissolved as of 
the date of their letters, September 1 and October 23, 1812, respectively. 
The board’s attitude was coldly formal but technically Christian. “They 
shew us,” said the board, “that missionaries are but men.” 13 

At the same time that Rice and Judson had been struggling with these 
problems of the spirit, the authorities had given them new vexations. 
Harassed by the officials, they had no choice but to leave if they could. 
By a final stroke of good fortune, Rice and Judson were able to get 
passage to the Isle of France. Here they parted. Luckily finding accommo- 
dations on the Donna Maria, Rice sailed for San Salvador and then on 
to New York. 


Bricks Without Straw 

He had left Judson with great regret and with strong misgivings. Really 
he had little choice. Rice’s health had been bad; a chronic ailment and a 
proneness to seasickness had made the long outward voyage unpleasant. 
The concern he had felt over his change in religious convictions had been 
wearing, and the daily uncertainties that had characterized his stay in 
India had further undermined his health. The easier voyage back would 
offer time for recuperation. 

Most urgent, however, was the necessity of adjusting his denominational 
status. Here were two Congregational missionaries — Rice and Judson — 
appointed and sent out by the American Board of Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions, who had become Baptists. Both men wanted an amiable 
transfer of relationship. As we have seen, the board made the transfer 
easy — it just severed the relationship. 

But by becoming Baptists, Judson and Rice had in no way diminished 
their zeal for missions. Rather, what they saw in Asia had strengthened 
their determination. Someone would have to undertake the support of 
Judson and his wife and any others who were sent out. To marshal 
that support was Rice’s task. But here was a difficulty, comparable to 
one that Rice had faced earlier. When the young men at Andover had 
decided to offer themselves as missionaries, the memorial that Judson had 
drawn up had led to the formation of the American Board of Commission- 
ers to organize Congregational support for missions. The Presbyterians 
later cooperated. But there was no comparable Baptist Board of Missions; 
in fact, there was no denominational structure with which to work. To 
create a structure that would throw the organized weight of the Baptist 
denomination into the work of missions was Rice’s problem — and his 

His procedure was wise. When Rice made his formal proposals, he 
was able to speak in personal terms and point to tangible facts. He began 
by consulting with Baptist groups and individuals in New England known 
to be interested in missions. Encouraged by a preliminary survey, he left 
Boston in the fall of 1813 for a journey to the principal cities from 
Philadelphia to Savannah, making as many personal contacts as he could 
preparatory to a meeting in Philadelphia, called for May 18, 1814, of 
delegates from “the associated bodies of the baptist denomination formed 
in various parts of the United States for the purpose of diffusing evangelic 
light, through the benighted regions of the earth.” 

The form of organization to be adopted had occurred to Rice as he 


Missions and Education, 1812-1821 

rode on the stage between Richmond and Petersburg. The various local 
groups should be formed into state foreign missionary societies. These 
state societies should in turn appoint delegates to form a general society. 

The Reverend Dr. Richard Furman was chairman of the Philadelphia 
meeting. A constitution was adopted establishing The General Missionary 
Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States for Foreign 
Missions. This body was to hold a triennial meeting to which each 
regularly constituted missionary society and religious body of the denom- 
ination that regularly contributed $100 or more annually to the missionary 
fund would be permitted to send two delegates. When the convention 
was not in session, authority was vested in twenty-one elected commission- 
ers who formed the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions for the United 
States, “with full power to conduct the executive part of the missionary 

Individuals who were to play an important part in the early history 
of the College were assigned leading roles. Rice, a delegate from the 
District of Columbia, was placed on the two principal committees of the 
convention. The Reverend Dr. William Staughton, later to be first 
president of the College, was made corresponding secretary and was 
elected to the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, along with the Reverend 
O. B. Brown, the first president of the Board of Trustees of the College. 14 

The major communications before the board at its first meeting were 
one prepared by Luther Rice, and a report on recently formed Baptist 
Foreign Missionary Societies. The latter listed information concerning 
existing societies as far as possible, estimated an income from them for 
missionary purposes of not less than $5,850 annually, stated that Rice 
had been allowed a salary of $8 a week for the thirty-five weeks he had 
devoted to preparatory work, and reported $1,556.67 % in the general 
fund, after expenses. 

In his communication, Rice reported on strategic points from which 
missionary activity could be directed in Asia and South America. In 
conducting a mission he emphasized the primary importance of a trans- 
lation of the Scriptures which would involve mastery of the native 
language and literature, and the location of a printing press at the base 
of operations. Referring to his own situation, he stated that he had 
delayed accepting any new responsibility until his relations with the 
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions had been formally 
severed. As soon as this was done, he had hastened, with the advice and at 


Bricks Without Straw 

the request of his brethren, to make his tour through the middle and 
southern states. He listed in detail the monies he had received. These 
were the first fruits of his labor. 

The Board of Foreign Missions at their first meeting undertook the 
patronage of Rice as their missionary to continue his services here “for 
a reasonable time,” and of Adoniram Judson “as a missionary under their 
care and direction.” Rice was to be supplied with credentials stating his 
appointment and his mission and commending him to the favor of people 
“wherever, in pursuing the openings of Providence, he may direct his 
course.” 18 

This was the broad grant of authority to the missionary proconsul of 
the Baptists. 

The success of Rice’s itineracy militated against his rejoining Judson 
in Asia. Year after year his commission as the board’s agent was renewed. 
His success in stirring up an interest in missions was phenomenal. The 
number of new societies formed was amazing. Rice’s energy was almost 
superhuman. He was always on the move, traveling by horse and carriage, 
gig or wagon, by horseback, by boat, or by stage. On August 30, 1817, 
he wrote in his Journal that in the preceding ten days he had traveled 
722 miles, of which about 560 miles were on horseback. There was never 
a day without preaching or exhortation somewhere — in a state capital, 
in a courthouse, a meetinghouse, a fine home, or a miserable hovel. Clergy 
and members of other denominations helped him generously. There was 
always the contribution — substantial ones of $200 at large meetings down 
to half a levy from some child or an interested servant. Wherever he 
happened to be was his only home. He received a few personal gifts 
of money and considerable clothing, and carried with him some tracts and 
reports which he sold at a modest price. 

Luther Rice by dint of great sacrifice had, rather belatedly it is true, 
the benefits of a sound literary and theological education in Leicester 
Academy, Williams College, and Andover Seminary. He no doubt 
welcomed the position on education expressed by Dr. Furman in his 1814 
Address. His own statement to the board at its first meeting had indicated 
the need for highly literate missionaries, capable of mastering the native 
languages and literatures. In the Address for the First Triennial Meeting 
of the General Assembly in 1817, Dr. Furman was able to report action. 
He stated that the difficulties that some of the pious had raised were 
“like vapours of the morning vanishing.” The original constitution of 
the convention was amended to include, among other changes, a direction 

Missions and Education, 1812-1821 23 

to the board to institute a classical and theological seminary “when 
competent and distinct” funds had been raised. 16 

From the very beginning of the formal Baptist effort, missions and 
education were linked together. The Address given in 1814 by the 
president of the General Assembly of the Baptist delegates for missionary 
purposes which concluded the printed Proceedings was eloquent on this 
topic. Forming as it did, in effect, a statement of principle, it is most 

It is deeply to be regretted that no more attention is paid to the improve- 
ment of the minds of pious youth who are called to the gospel ministry. While 
this is neglected the cause of God must suffer. Within the last fifty years, by 
the diffusion of knowledge and attention to liberal science the state of 
society has become considerably elevated. It is certainly desirable the informa- 
tion of the minister of the sanctuary should increase in an equal proportion. 
Other denominations are directing their attention with signal ardour to the 
instruction of their youth for this purpose. They are assisting them to peruse 
the sacred writings in their original languages, and supplying other aids for 
pulpit services, which, through the grace of the Holy Spirit may become 
eminently sanctified for the general good. While we avow our belief that a 
refined or liberal education is not an indispensable qualification for ministerial 
service, let us never lose sight of its real importance, but labour to help our 
young men by our contributions, by the origination of education Societies, 
and if possible, by a general theological seminary, where some at least, may ob- 
tain all the advantage, which learning and mature studies can afford, to 
qualify for acting the part of Men who are set for the defence of the 
gospel. Improvement of this nature will contribute to roll away from the 
churches the reproach of neglecting to support the ministry of the word. 
They will be unwilling to receive for nothing that which has cost their minis- 
ters much . 17 

The Board of Foreign Missions in its address to the General Convention 
called attention to the broad subject of education. A scheme of education 
laid before the convention received unanimous support and was referred 
to the board “for maturity and publicity.” The report was received at the 
board’s quarterly meeting held in June, 1817. It stated its belief that many 
wealthy friends were prepared to make substantial contributions and that 
several thousands of dollars might be easily collected if a start were made. 
“Numerous youth are waiting to avail themselves of the privilege of a 
literary and theological Institution, and the widening sphere of missionary 
work already undertaken, renders an accession of godly and educated 
youth highly desirable.” 


Bricks Without Straw 

At the next annual meeting of the board on April 29, 1818, formal 
action was taken. Education societies in various parts of the country were 
urged to cooperate in the effort with the Baptist Education Society in 
Philadelphia, whose aid had been offered and accepted. The agent was 
instructed to promote the formation of other societies. The Reverend 
Dr. Staughton was named Principal; the Reverend Irah Chase, Professor 
of Languages and Biblical Literature in the contemplated institution; and 
a comprehensive effort to raise funds was ordered. Under date of May 
7, 1818, the corresponding secretary issued a statement regarding the 
action taken, with supporting arguments, and called upon the board’s 
Christian brethren to direct their immediate attention to the necessity for 
sending such sums as they could obtain to the treasurer of the board 
or to the agent. 18 

At the end of his first year of solicitation, Rice, as agent, reported that 
$1162.06 had been contributed and an additional $75 subscribed for the 
Theological Institution. 19 

The Second Triennial Meeting of the General Convention, which met 
in Philadelphia on April 26, 1820, seemed to represent a time of fulfillment. 
The constitution of the General Assembly was amended to require the 
treasurer to keep funds for missionary purposes and those for education 
in separate accounts. The tenth section in the amended constitution put 
the governance of “an Institution for education purposes,” when located, 
in the hands of the board of managers, as the executive committee of the 
convention was now designated. This section read: 

When the Convention shall have located an Institution for education pur- 
poses, it shall be the duty of the Board, under the direction of this body, and 
exclusively from education funds, to erect or procure suitable buildings for the 
accommodation of students, and to pursue such measures as may be found most 
conducive to the progress and prosperity of the Institution. They shall also 
judge of the qualifications of persons approved by the churches as possessing 
suitable gifts and called of God to the work of the Gospel ministry, who 
shall apply for admission as beneficiaries of the Board. They shall have power 
to appoint suitable instructors in the different departments of education; and 
determine on the compensation to be allowed them for their services; and 
superintend, generally, the affairs of the Institution . 20 

The Reverend O. B. Brown, on behalf of a committee, reported on 
the recommended location of the Institution. The committee desired 
to eliminate “local politics” and recommended as the place “the seat of 
the general government.” Since it was believed that if literary and theo- 


Missions and Education, 1812-1821 

logical subjects were both to be pursued under the convention’s patronage, 
they should be kept distinct so that persons could avail themselves of 
one without the other, the committee believed that “a College, upon 
general principles for science and literature,” would eventually be estab- 
lished. It was, therefore, 

Resolved, That the Institution for the education of Gospel ministers, be 
located at the city of Washington, or in its vicinity, in the District of Colum- 
bia; and that the Board be directed to cause its removal thither, whenever 
suitable preparations shall be made for its reception in that place, and when, 
in their opinions, such removal shall be expedient. 

Resolved, That this Convention accept of the premises tendered to them 
for the site of an Institution for the education of Gospel ministers, and for a 
college, adjoining the city of Washington; and that the Board be directed to 
take measures, as soon as convenient, for obtaining a legal title to the same. — 
And that the Board be further directed to keep the Institution, already in a 
state of progress, first in view, and not to incur expenses beyond the amount 
of funds which may be obtained for the establishment of either of the In- 
stitutions . 21 

A committee of five, including O. B. Brown and Rice, was appointed 
to take immediate measures to procure an act of incorporation for the 
convention from Congress, “so as to secure the funds of the Convention 
in the best manner they can .” 22 

Out of this action was to develop the chain of incidents that brought 
about the granting by Congress of a Charter to The Columbian College 
in the District of Columbia. 

It will be noted that all the actions of the convention and the board 
on educational matters had referred primarily to the Theological Institu- 
tion, with a College to be eventually established. The form of such an 
institution was laid down in a “Plan of the Institution” adopted by the 
Second Triennial Meeting of the Convention. 

Certified as possessed of piety, candidates who had had a collegiate 
or liberal education would be admitted into the junior and, in time, the 
senior class. These students would receive instruction in the various fields 
of theology, in the language and interpretation of the Old and New 
Testaments and in the canons of Biblical criticism; in sacred rhetoric and 
ecclesiastical history. Students without previous literary training would be 
divided into the first- and second-year classes where they would study 
those subjects “which particularly belong to them as students of the 
Bible and candidates for the ministry.” Students in all four classes were 


Bricks Without Straw 

“to exercise their gifts in public speaking.” “The state and exigencies 
of the Baptist denomination were to be regarded” in shortening or pro- 
tracting the period of residence at the Institution. Professors were to be 
Baptists and ministers of the Gospel, but for those who taught purely 
academic subjects ordination might be dispensed with. The teachers were 
to constitute a faculty to govern the Institution under bylaws approved 
by the board in accordance with the acts and Constitution of the con- 
vention. 23 

With the cooperation of the Baptist Education Society in Philadelphia, 
the board on April 29, 1818, had provided for the inauguration of an 
Institution in Philadelphia with Dr. Staughton as Principal and the 
Reverend Irah Chase as Professor. This Institution was in operation and 
had attracted a fair number of students. Eighteen were pursuing studies 
there, according to the Address of the Convention at the Second Triennial 
Meeting in 1820. 24 

The members of the board attended the final exercises of a graduating 
class of seven members on April 25, 1821. After the awful responsibilities 
of “the functions of the ministry” had been explained to the graduates “in 
a most solemn, affectionate and impressive manner,” each was awarded 
a certificate of Christian character and of attendance in the prescribed 
exercises of the Institution, with honorable dismissal. At the board 
meeting on the same day there was announced the likely removal of the 
Institution to Washington in the ensuing autumn. 25 


Qollege Hill: 

The Cot and the Charter 


T he Institution of the convention was transferred from Philadelphia 
to Washington twenty-one years after the capital itself had made 
the same move. Both were modest establishments at the time of the change 
in location. The office force of the five departments of the government 
had in 1800 numbered but 137 clerks. By comparison with the size of the 
Institution a score of years later, even that was a multitude. 1 According 
to the Census of 1820, the total population of the District of Columbia 
was 33,039. In the District, then the original ten miles square, were three 
cities: Alexandria, Georgetown, and Washington, the last the youngest 
and the largest, with a population of 13,322. 

At its Second Triennial Meeting, the General Convention in two sig- 
nificant resolutions had directed the board of managers to move the 
Institution to Washington as soon as accommodations could be prepared 
and had directed a committee of five to obtain an act of incorporation for 
the convention “so as to secure the funds of the Convention in the best 
manner they can, and in the event of the committee failing, that the Board 
take measures to procure it.” 2 

Progress of a sort had been made along both of these lines to permit 
the Institution to be moved in the fall of 1821. As to the first, when the 
board of managers on August 7, 1818, decided “to prepare the way, by 
the collecting of funds, for the complete organization of the Institution 
the ensuing spring,” a committee of three — Messrs. Cushman, Sommers, 
and Davis — was appointed to solicit funds, and another committee consist- 
ing of Dr. Staughton, Dr. Allison, Elder Jones, and Professor Chase was 



Bricks Without Straw 

appointed to solicit books for the library. The success of the first com- 
mittee was extremely limited. The committee on the library was more 

There was, however, the vigorous agent of the board at work. Rice 
wrote to the Reverend Elisha Cushman of Hartford, a member of the 
board’s committee, on August 24, 1819, favoring the location of the 
Theological Institution in Washington “where there is indeed a most 
beautiful and eligible site for it. On this subject I wish to have some 
conversation with you.” Rice was preparing for action; indeed, the first 
subscription he reported “for the lot” was for $20 made by R. W. Latimer 
of Fayetteville, North Carolina, on August 2, 1819, although real effort 
begins to show from the middle of September. Subscriptions “for the lot” 
during the fiscal year 1819-1820 ran far ahead of those “for education 
purposes,” both in amount and in number of donors. In that year 650 
donors gave the sum of $3,134.29 for the lot, and 75 gave $133 for the 
building. Rice and his three colleagues in the effort — the Reverend O. B. 
Brown, Spencer H. Cone, and Enoch Reynolds — had every right to feel 
pleased. The first list of subscribers was very catholic in its composition. 
President James Monroe subscribed $50; John Quincy Adams, Secretary 
of State, $25; William H. Crawford, Secretary of the Treasury, $25; 
Return J. Meigs, Postmaster General, $20; Josiah Meigs, Commissioner 
of the General Land Office, $25; Abraham Bradley, Assistant Postmaster 
General, $20; Governor John Clark of Georgia, $10. Several Senators 
and Congressmen were on the list, as were also the famous Captain John 
Tingey of the Navy and many eminent Baptist ministers. The great bulk 
of contributions came from Virginia, the District of Columbia, North and 
South Carolina, and Georgia — areas, interestingly enough, from which the 
major part of the student body was drawn in the years before the War 
of 1861-1865. 

Reporting to the corresponding secretary of the board on April 26, 
1820, that $10,000 had been subscribed and partly paid “for the ground, 
a lot of 46 !4 acres — to erect a building and to endow a professorship,” 
Rice said, “This being the result of the incidental attention of an indi- 
vidual, with comparatively little aid from others, and that, too, for but 
little more than half a year, demonstrates the practicability of accomplish- 
ing a most important object in a short time.” 3 

“The lot,” as it is always referred to by Rice in his subscription lists, 
became officially known as “College Hill.” As far as the earliest land 
records extend, the lot was in a tract of land known as Mount Pleasant 


College Hill: The Lot and the Charter, 1821-1829 

and owned by Robert Peter. By Robert Peter’s will of May 10, 1802, his 
estate was equally divided among his sons, Thomas, Robert, David, 
George, and James. The part of the tract embraced within the lot was 
inherited by George Peter and deeded by him on December 11, 1820, to 
Obadiah B. Brown, who held the property for transfer to the convention. 

The property contained “forty eight acres and one hundred and forty 
four perches, but as it is intended that a road on the east side of said tract 
of land shall be continued from Fourteenth Street west in the City of 
Washington to the intersection of the road leading from Georgetown to 
Rock Creek Church, fifty feet wide, one half of said contemplated road 
being deducted, also that part of said road running from Georgetown to 
Rock Creek Church which this survey covers, making together two 
acres and fifty perches, leave, exclusive of roads, the full quantity hereby 
sold and conveyed, forty six acres, two roods and fourteen perches.” The 
cost of the property was $6,988, approximately $151.75 per acre. 4 

The road referred to was appropriately named Columbia Road after 
the College. 

The property was immediately north of the boundary (now Florida 
Avenue) which marked the corporate limits of Washington City. In 
terms of the present street designations, it ran from Florida Avenue north 
for almost a half-mile to somewhat beyond Columbia Road and between 
Fourteenth and Fifteenth Streets. The nature of the terrain, where Cardozo 
High School now stands, a bit more than a square east of College Hill, 
suggests the way the elevation of the property increased quite rapidly up 
to the center part of the holdings. The main college building was located 
in this central portion, and from it could be seen all parts of the city and 
of Georgetown. As time went on and streets were cut through the 
College grounds, appropriate names of academic significance were 
given them: Columbia, Euclid, University, Staughton, Chapin, Well- 
ing, Binney, Bacon (the last five being presidents of the College), and 
Huntington (said to have been the most popular teacher ever to serve 
the College). When the modem system of street nomenclature was 
adopted, the only one of the College worthies whose name fitted into the 
alphabetical scheme was Chapin. Euclid also held his own. 

With property in the hands of a trustee ready to be deeded to the 
convention and with educational funds collected and being collected, a 
practical problem arose which made incorporation necessary. The nature 
of this problem was underscored by an important decision handed down 
February 3, 1819, on the same afternoon as the more famous Dartmouth 


Bricks Without Straw 

College decision. This decision, in the case of The Philadelphia Baptist 
Association vs. Hart’s Executor (4 Wheaton 1), held “that an unincor- 
porated association could not receive and administer a fund for the train- 
ing of young men for the Baptist ministry.” The question, settled finally 
by the Supreme Court, had been moot for more than twenty years, ever 
since a divided decision of the trial court. This specific case must cer- 
tainly have been in the minds of the members of the convention when, 
on May 6, 1820, they appointed a committee to procure an act of incor- 
poration “so as to secure the funds of the Convention in the best manner 
they can.” Possibly this action was taken to formalize steps previously 
taken, since on April 6, 1820, a bill was reported out of the Committee 
of the District of Columbia to the Senate providing for the incorporation 
of a General Convention of the Baptist denomination in the District of 
Columbia. Senator Johnson of Kentucky argued vigorously for the bill, 
pointing out that it was merely designed to enable a group, about to erect 
a seminary of learning, to hold real estate, which they already had, and to 
receive donations. In spite of the Senator’s eloquent defense, the basic 
church-state problem took precedence over the immediate purpose for 
which incorporation had been desired. The bill was indefinitely postponed, 
without a decision. 5 

In the next session — the second — of the Sixteenth Congress, Senator 
Johnson of Kentucky obtained leave on November 30, 1820, to bring in 
the bill which, after much amendment, finally became the Charter. The 
bill was read and passed to a second reading. Referred to the Committee 
on the District of Columbia, it was reported with amendments and read 
on the next day. When some questions were raised, Senator Johnson 
replied that the same bill was defeated the previous session “merely 
because the title, which had been inadvertently and without reflection 
given to it, had been construed by gentlemen into an indication that the 
bill was for the incorporation of an exclusive religious society for religious 
objects alone.” 

Senator Horsey, who had reported the bill for the committee, stated 
that he would vote for the bill if certain defects were remedied. He 
would confine the organization “by express provisions, to objects strictly 
collegiate and literary.” Modes of electing the principal, trustees, and 
professors should be strictly defined, and no one should be excluded from 
an office or the benefits of the college on account of his religious opinions. 
Senator Johnson of Kentucky concurred. The bill was recommitted and 
other intervening items on the orders of the day were postponed to permit 


College Hill: The Lot and the Charter, 1821-1825 

resumption of the debate on the admission of Missouri into the Union . 6 

When the Senate resumed consideration of the bill, as in the Committee 
of the Whole, it was laid on the table. Discussion was again resumed, and, 
together with certain amendments and considerations, again postponed. 
Once again discussion was resumed with further amendments, and on 
January 9, 1821, the bill was ordered engrossed and read for a third 

The Senate then informed the House of Representatives that the bill 
had been passed and asked its concurrence. The House Committee on the 
District of Columbia, acting without delay, reported the bill without 
amendment. When it was called for its third reading, a member objected 
to the procedure and demanded that the ordinary practice be followed in 
referring the bill to the Committee of the Whole for discussion. So the 
bill was ordered to lie on the table and be printed for the use of the 
members . 7 

When the bill was finally called up for consideration by the House, 
opposition was still very strong. Mr. Storrs raised a great number of 
objections and was particularly opposed to giving the corporation a right 
to hold lands in any state in the Union. Though he stated that he was 
opposed to the passage of the bill in any form, he moved to recommit 
the bill to the committee with instructions to reduce the number of trus- 
tees to twenty-one, to make the members of the Cabinet and the judges 
of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia ex officio trustees, with 
vacancies to be filled by the same body so as to insure a full board of 
twenty-one at all times, and to establish a visitorial power vested in a 
joint committee by the Senate and House of Representatives. Mr. Mercer 
spoke warmly in defense of the bill and protested against its defeat on 
the ground of hostility to the establishment of any literary institution in 
the District “which the gentleman from New York [Mr. Storrs] has so 
broadly avowed.” The nature of the session was summarized in the record: 

There then arose, on this subject, a debate which occupied the whole of 
the remainder of the day’s sitting, which was desultory in its nature and com- 
prehensive in its objects, embracing the general powers of Congress to confer 
power by granting acts of incorporation, as well as the merits of this particular 
bill, and even the Missouri question, somehow or other, wedged its way into 
the debate . 8 

A final effort was made to restrict any real estate held by the College 
to the District of Columbia, unless specific consent was given by the 

Bricks Without Straw 


legislature of the state within which such real estate was situated. This 
effort and others to recommit failed, and the bill was read the third time 
and passed: yeas 79, nays 60. President Monroe approved the Act of 
Congress on February 9, 1821. 

Aside from the general provisions establishing “a college, for the sole 
and exclusive purpose of educating youth in the English, learned, and 
foreign languages, the liberal arts, sciences and literature” under the name 
of “The Columbian College, in the District of Columbia,” the Charter 
contains two very interesting sections, the seventh and the tenth. 

The seventh section was added by a vote of 23 to 13, against the 
strenuous objections of the bill’s sponsors. It is good Jeffersonianism: 

And be it further enacted: That persons of every religious denomination 
shall be capable of being elected trustees; nor shall any person either as presi- 
dent, professor, tutor or pupil be refused admission, or denied any privileges, 
immunities or advantages thereof, for or on account of his sentiments in matters 
of religion. 

In the light of the temper of the Congress as shown in the debates on 
the bill, it is easy to see that there lurked a suspicion that, although the 
act to incorporate the convention had been defeated, there would still 
be a strong denominational influence seeking control. The seventh section 
was the price that had to be paid for the passage of the bill. 

The tenth section is concerned with financial matters and concludes 

That it shall, moreover, be the duty of the said trustees, to cause to be 
enrolled in the said book or journal the names of all contributors to the institu- 
tion qualified to vote for trustees, with their respective places of residence, 
and the said book or journal shall, at all times, be open to the inspection or 
examination of the Attorney General of the United States; and when required 
by either House of Congress, it shall be the duty of the said trustees to furnish 
any information respecting their own conduct, the state of the institution, and 
of its finances, which shall or may be required. 

It was in accordance with this provision that the investigation by the 
Attorney General was made in 1910. The late Professor Tillema has 
described this as a feature which was transferred to the Colonies from 
England where the Attorney General, on behalf of the King as parens 
patriae, exercised the power to inspect and take legal measures for the 


College Hill: The Lot and the Charter, 1821-1825 

protection of funds given or granted for educational purposes. The pro- 
vision in the Charter of February 9, 1821, appears in no other charter 
granted by Congress. Whether the members of the Congress were con- 
scious of the English usage cannot be said. The final sentence of the tenth 
section, however, does reflect the sentiment shown in the suggested 
amendments of Storrs, the implacable opponent of the bill. 

Tillema pointed out that the clause in the Charter reserving to Congress 
the right to revoke or amend, a clause inserted in every later college 
charter, was clearly the result of the Dartmouth College case. In the Dart- 
mouth College decision the Supreme Court held that the legislature of 
New Hampshire could not amend the college’s charter without the con- 
sent of the college trustees, a condition highly objectionable to those who 
believed that education, as a public function, must be subject to legislative 
control. 9 

The Board of Managers of the General Convention in a formal resolu- 
tion thanked all the members of the Senate and of the House of Repre- 
sentatives who had aided in obtaining the Charter, with a special vote of 
thanks to Senators James Barbour and R. M. Johnson and Congressmen 
Henry Clay, Charles F. Mercer, John Sargeant, and Henry Meigs. 10 

The Charter provided for the control of the College by a Board of 
Trustees, not to exceed thirty-one in number, elected triennially by the 
contributors to the College as provided by the ordinances. They were 
to be possessed of the usual rights. The College was limited to an income 
not to exceed $25,000 over student fees. The faculty of the College, no 
member of which could, while he served as such, be a Trustee, was 
charged with the enforcement of the rules of the Trustees for the gov- 
ernment of students and the recommendation for degrees of such students 
as had satisfactorily met the requirements. The Trustees were directed 
to have a proper seal made for the authentication of documents. At the 
Board’s meeting on November 1 5, 1821, James Peale of Philadelphia was 
formally thanked “for having gratuitously furnished a drawing of the 
Seal for the Columbian College, in a stile [sic] highly acceptable to the 
Board.” 11 

Of all the messages of good will which came to the founders following 
the granting of the Charter, none was more welcome than one from the 
President of the United States which was quoted again and again in the 
circulars of the College. On March 24, 1821, President Monroe wrote to 
the Reverend O. B. Brown, president of the Board of Trustees: 

Bricks Without Straw 


Sir, Washington March 24, 1821. 

I avail myself of this mode of assuring you of my earnest desire that the 
College which was incorporated by an act of Congress, at the last session, by 
the title of “The Columbian College in the District of Columbia” may ac- 
complish all the useful purposes for which it was instituted; and I add, with 
great satisfaction that there is good reason to believe that the hopes of those 
who have so patriotically contributed to advance it to its present stage, will 
not be disappointed. 

The commencement will be under circumstances very favorable to its suc- 
cess. Its position, on the high ground north of the city, is remarkably healthy. 
The act of incorporation is well digested; looks to the proper objects; and 
grants the powers well adapted to this attainment. The establishment of this 
institution within the federal district, in the presence of Congress, and of all 
the departments of the government, will secure to the young men who may be 
educated in it many important advantages; among which, the opportunity 
which it will afford them of hearing the debates in Congress, and in the 
Supreme Court, on important subjects, must be obvious to all. With these 
peculiar advantages, this institution if it receives hereafter, the proper encour- 
agement, cannot fail to be eminently useful to the nation. Under this im- 
pression, I trust that such encouragement will not be withheld from it. 

I am Sir, with great respect, 
your very obedient servant, 

James Monroe 12 

While efforts were being made to obtain a charter, progress was being 
made in the preparation of accommodations for the College. Luther Rice 
in a letter to the corresponding secretary of the Board of Managers of 
the Convention on April 26, 1820, had stated that a building had already 
been commenced, 116 feet by 47, which would house 80 to 100 students. 
By June 1, 1821, the carpenters’ work and the plastering of the main 
building were nearly completed. At the first meeting of the Board, it was 
announced that buildings would be ready for occupancy September, 
1821, and completed by January 1, 1822. The Trustees were therefore 
able to state that the Theological Department would open on the first 
Wednesday in September, 1821, and the Classical Department on the 
second Wednesday in January, 1822. 13 

The buildings were three in number, the College building and two 
houses for professors. The main building as completed was 1 1 7 feet in 
length and 47 feet deep, with a stone basement that had walls 27 inches 
thick; the first story of brick, with walls 22 inches thick; the second story 
of brick, with walls 18 inches thick; and the third story of brick, with 
walls 14 inches thick. The garret was divided into rooms like the main 

College Hill: The Lot and the Charter, 1821-182 3 3; 

stories, with dormer windows and fireplaces. On the basement level were 
a kitchen, a dining room, and a chapel. In the garret there was a room, 
30 feet by 16, designed for philosophical apparatus and experiments. On 
the second and third floors there was a room 11 feet by 17, designed 
temporarily for a library. In the whole building there were 58 rooms and 
60 fireplaces, calculated to accommodate 100 students. The land cost 
$7,000, and the building with equipment was estimated to cost $60,000. 
“A well sixty feet deep has been dug adjacent to the building, which 
proves to be upon a never failing spring of fine water; a blessing which 
calls for sincere gratitude.” All buildings were intended to range with 
the cardinal points of the compass. 14 

Having been duly chartered, the Board of Trustees of the College were 
now able to hold real estate. Their immediate interest in obtaining title 
to College Hill was induced by their urgent need for funds to get the 
institution in operation. A loan of $10,000 was sought from the Board 
of Managers of the Convention, the security for which was to be a bond 
and mortgage on the lot and premises of the College. The Board of Man- 
agers at the Trustees’ request: 

Resolved, unanimously, That it be recommended by the Board, that the 
land and premises called “College Hill,” in the District of Columbia, held 
by the Rev. O. B. Brown, of Washington, virtually in trust for the purposes 
of the General Convention, be conveyed by said Brown to the Trustees of 
“The Columbian College in the District of Columbia”; with an express reserva- 
tion, in the deed of conveyance, of the right in said premises, of the carrying 
on of such other operations, or the effecting or locating of such other con- 
cerns, besides the establishment for the purposes of education, literature, and 
science, as may in the mutual judgment of the aforesaid General Convention, 
or its Board of Managers, and of the Trustees and Faculty of the aforesaid 
Columbian College, conduce to the promotion of the great objects which the 
Convention embraces. 15 

At the meeting of the College Trustees on November 24, 1821, O. B. 
Brown presented the indenture or deed for the conveyance of College 
Hill “on certain conditions and limitations therein set forth” which were 
duly accepted, and the property was conveyed by deed, dated November 
30, 1821. Such is the simple statement in the Board’s Minutes, leaving the 
“certain conditions and limitations” unexplained. Light is thrown on the 
subject by a report made to the Board of Managers of the General Con- 
vention by the College Board of Trustees in 1822 when it was stated that 
the land and premises had been conveyed: 

Bricks Without Straw 


in such manner as to secure to the Convention the use and occupancy of such 
part or parts of the same, as may, in the mutual judgment of said Convention, 
with its Board, and the Trustees and Faculty of said College, conduce to the 
great objects the Convention embraces. 16 

The actual situation was rather complicated. The indenture is described 
as being in two parts, but really there are two separate indentures, both 
of them recorded on December 11, 1821. 

The first is an indenture made November 30, 1821, between Obadiah 
B. Brown and the Trustees of Columbian College. It granted the parcel 
called College Hill to the Trustees for a period of one thousand years, for 
which the Trustees were to pay one peppercorn, if demanded, on the 
first day of each September. If the terms were complied with, the parcel 
was to be deeded to the College in fee simple at the end of the thousand- 
year period. There were, however, a reservation and a proviso. Brown 
reserved for himself, his heirs, agents, and employees, the right to enter 
at any time and for any purpose and to occupy and enjoy a part of the 
parcel not to exceed one-fourth of the whole property. Until such time 
as Brown exercised this right, the College was to have use of the entire 
parcel. It was further provided that if at any time more than a fourth 
of the Trustees were not elected from the list nominated by the Baptist 
Convention the whole of the property should go to the convention. 

The second is an indenture made December 10, 1821, between Obadiah 
B. Brown and the General Convention of the Baptist Denomination. In 
it Brown referred to the indenture made with the Trustees granting them 
College Hill and the exception made giving him rights over one-quarter 
of the parcel. These rights, reserved for himself, Brown now assigned to 
the convention. 17 

A more effective method of retaining Baptist control, in spite of Con- 
gressional intent as expressed in the debates on the Charter and in Section 
7 of the Charter as passed, was found through the provision in Section 2 
for the election of Trustees “by the contributors of said college, qualified 
to vote, in such manner, and under such limitations and restrictions, as 
may be provided by the ordinances of the college.” 

The Board of Trustees on April 19, 1821, adopted a set of ordinances 
in the light of facts asserted in the preamble: that the College had been 
virtually originated by the General Convention; that the establishment 
and premises on College Hill properly belonged to the convention; and 
that it was essential that the College be conducted in accordance with 
the views and wishes of the convention. Contributors qualified to vote 


College Hill: The Lot and the Charter, 1821-182 7 

were defined as the representatives of associated bodies of the Baptist 
denomination donating to the College not less than $50 annually or to 
the objects of the convention not less than $50 annually, of which at 
least $5 was designated for the College. If such an associated body con- 
tributed $100 or more annually, two “contributors” were constituted, 
and for each additional $200 annually an additional “contributor” was 
constituted. Contributors were to elect Trustees from a list of nominations 
of at least fifty persons furnished triennially by the convention before the 
first Monday in May. A vote of three-quarters of the total number of 
Trustees was required to amend the ordinance. 

Section 7 of the Charter stood in lonely grandeur. Whatever could be 
done within the Charter to hold the College within Baptist control had 
been done. 18 


Faculty and Students 


T he first educational unit to get under way on College Hill was 
already in being as the Theological Institution of the convention 
in Philadelphia. The “Plan of the Institution” had been formally adopted 
at the Second Triennial Meeting of the Convention. The Reverend Dr. 
William Staughton had been appointed Principal, and the Reverend Irah 
Chase, Professor of Languages and Biblical Literature. In the spring of 
1821, the first class was graduated at Philadelphia, with the members of 
the Board of Managers, meeting at the time in that city, attending in 
a body. 

The Theological Department of Columbian College was scheduled to 
move to Washington on the first Wednesday in September, 1821. At the 
meeting of the College Trustees on October 5, 1821, it was duly reported 
that the Institution had opened September 5 with 1 1 students and that Pro- 
fessor Chase was on hand and ready “to observe until further directions 
the rules which had been observed in the Theological Institution in Phila- 
delphia in which he had been a professor.” 1 

Most of the students who had been approved and recommended by the 
churches of which they were members “as having been called of God to 
the ministry of the Gospel” were indigent and looked to the funds of the 
Board of Managers for sustenance in whole or in part. One of them was 
directing the Preparatory School, others were rendering assistance in it 
or otherwise employing themselves to help meet expenses. Hardly opened, 
the Institution was already feeling the pinch financially. Students would 
undoubtedly offer themselves in larger numbers in the future and increase 



Faculty and Students, 1821-182 s 

the need for funds for their support. Although the Institution’s funds were 
exhausted, signs were apparent which justified an optimistic outlook. The 
question was raised, however, whether such students in the Theological 
Department “shall have the advantages of a complete course of classical 
education.” In the operation of the Theological Institution in Philadelphia 
the year before the removal, a debt of $1,909.01 had been incurred. 2 

When the College, or, more properly, the Classical Department, began 
its first term on January 9, 1822, there was a total student body of 30, 
classified as follows: Theological Department, 3; Sophomore Class, 7; 
Freshman Class, 10; Preparatory School, 10. 

On the opening day, the following faculty was publicly and solemnly 
inducted into office: 

The Reverend William Staughton, D.D., President of the College 
The Reverend Irah Chase and the Reverend Alva Woods, Professors 
in the Classical and Theological Departments 
Josiah Meigs, Esq., Professor of Experimental Philosophy 
Thomas Sewall, M.D., Professor of Anatomy and Physiology 
James M. Staughton, M.D., Professor of Chemistry and Geology 
Rufus Babcock, A.B., Tutor 

Shortly thereafter, William Ruggles, A.B., was elected as a second 
tutor, thus beginning the longest consecutive period of teaching in the 
history of the University. 3 

In his address at the opening of the College, the reverend and learned 
President Staughton delved deeply into the pages of sacred and secular 
history to emphasize universal obligation and concern in the education of 
youth from the beginning of time. This same obligation, he said, had been 
recognized by “the venerable forefathers by whom our country was 
colonized. . . . Scarcely had they begun to till the earth for their sub- 
sistence, before their views were directed to the culture of the mind. The 
trees of the forest furnished their academic groves where their youth were 
educated in whatever could contribute to use, and ornament, and liberty, 
and honour, and virtue. ... It was far from being the sentiment of the 
General Convention of the Baptist Denomination, or of any of the in- 
dividuals who have been concerned in the erection of the building in 
which we are this day assembled, that a liberal education is an essential 
qualification in a Christian minister.” He was convinced that many men, 
not so privileged, had been called of God into His service and had been 
wonderfully successful. “But these very men are, for the most part, among 
the first to regret that the treasures of knowledge have, to them, never 


Bricks Without Straw 

been unfolded, and many of them are among the most liberal encouragers 
of theological schools.” 

The president felt that liberal studies, particularly of languages, should 
be begun as early as possible. “Pious youth called by the churches to 
officiate in the ministry of the Gospel, should beware lest the golden 
period for mental improvement for ever escape them. The observations 
I am offering are predicated on the fact that our college embraces a 
Theological as well as a Classical department.” While Columbian College 
at the time was open chiefly to classical and theological students, President 
Staughton looked forward to the day when “additional edifices will soon 
be erected, where lectures will be delivered in the Institutes of Law and 
in Medical Science.” 

He offered devout gratitude to the Father of Lights, in whose name 
“the foundation has been laid; and to the charge of his gracious Provi- 
dence, the destinies of the Columbian College are, with humility and 
satisfaction, confided.” Appreciation was expressed to the President of the 
United States and others of distinction who had made known their appro- 
bation. For Luther Rice there was a special tribute: 

The friendship which has long subsisted between the Agent of the Board 
of Managers of the General Convention and myself, would subject me to the 
imputation of a mistaken partiality, were I to state half the sentiments I en- 
tertain of his toils, his integrity, and his ardour. His works shall praise him, and 
collect around his character the grateful affections of the friends of Religion, 
of Literature, and of Man. 

In a resounding peroration President Staughton beheld the rising me- 
tropolis within sight of Mount Vernon where dwelt Washington, “the 
hero, who, with the Eagle for his standard, fought the battles of his 
country, achieved her liberty, illumined her councils, and, leaving her a 
legacy of paternal advice and patriotic example, in peace expired.” It was 
a habit of the Jews to hold ceremonies of inauguration by the side of 
running water as if in hope that the services of those who were being set 
apart, like the stream, might refresh and fertilize and continue. “Alas! 
it is the lot of mortals to die! — Rivers will pursue their meanders to the 
sea, when upon us the night of death shall have fallen. Yet, surely, we 
may be permitted to express our strong desire, and fervent supplication, 
that as long as the adjacent Potomac shall flow, this seat of learning and 
virtue may flourish, a blessing to the District — to the Union — to the 
World .” 4 


Faculty and Students, 1821-1825 

Academic requirements for the governance of students in Columbian 
College had been laid down at an early meeting of the Board of Trustees. 
The first session, which was to begin on the second Wednesday in Jan- 
uary, was to end on the second Wednesday in July; and the second session, 
beginning on the first Wednesday in September, was to end on the third 
Wednesday in December, “making this the Commencement Day.” There 
has been some speculation as to the reason for beginning sessions on Wed- 
nesday, a custom that was followed for over a century. The records throw 
no light on the subject. The best explanation that has been offered was that 
the middle of the week was selected so that travel on the Lord’s Day 
would not be necessary in most cases. 

In this first statement, maintenance of high academic standards was de- 
manded in no uncertain terms. “The Committee [on opening the College], 
in common with all the members of the Corporation, feel a strong solici- 
tude that the establishment should possess an elevated character; and even 
in the outset, they are decidedly of opinion that the requirements for ad- 
mission, and the course of study should not fall below the standard of in- 
stitutions holding a distinguished rank among the American colleges.” The 
admission requirements for the Theological Department, unlike the very 
specific ones governing the Classical Department, were general and in- 
definite by design. Inasmuch as that department planned to admit “stu- 
dents as may be” without their pursuing the course leading to the A.B. 
degree, “no particular point of literary attainment needs be specified as 
required for admission.” 

For the Classical Department it was quite different. “The applicant for 
admission should in the judgment of the committee be able to sustain a 
reputable examination in English Grammar, the general outlines of Geog- 
raphy, Arithmetic, Latin Grammar, Greek Grammar, Virgil, Sallust, 
Caesar’s Commentaries and Cicero’s select orations, Latin and Greek Testa- 
ments, and Dalzel’s Collectanea Graeca Minora : — be capable of correctly 
translating English into Latin: — and produce satisfactory evidence of a 
good moral character. For advanced standing he should be able to sustain 
an examination in all the studies previously attended to by the Class he 
wishes to join: and no student from any other College should ever be ad- 
mitted without a certificate from the President or Faculty of said College, 
that he left it without censure .” 5 

The course of study prescribed for the College was designed in the 
freshman year to link the preparatory studies with those that were to 
follow and to give the students a common base from which their advanced 

Bricks Without Straw 


work could proceed. The freshman was required to give continued at- 
tention to Latin, Greek, and English, and to geography, mathematics, and 
algebra. Some attention was given to history and antiquities, with constant 
exercise in reading, speaking, and composition. For the sophomore there 
were required: history and geography; elements of chronology; rhetoric 
and logic; logarithms, geometry, trigonometry, mensuration, surveying, 
navigation, conic sections, and Euclid’s Elements. The junior studied 
natural “phylosophy,” astronomy, chemistry, fluxions, natural history, 
history of civil society, natural religion, and revelation. For the senior 
were required: natural and political “phylosophy,” metaphysics, ethics, 
analogy of religion to nature, and theology. “Through the whole course, 
attention to all learned languages, criticism, rhetoric, and oratory [is] to 
be maintained.” 6 

The schedule of fees to be paid, in the light of present costs, seems un- 
believably modest. There was a fio fee for admission, a fee of I30 for 
the first session, and $20 for the second session. All students were required 
to board in unless special permission was given by the Superintending 
Committee. The charges were $10 in advance for board, washing, fuel, 
and candles, and $5 every third Wednesday, with balance due, if any, at 
the end of the session. An estimate by the steward, submitted to the Board, 
fixed the cost of food per student on the basis of the West Point bill of 
fare, at something less than 25 cents per day. Each student was supplied 
with bed and bedding at $3 for the first session and $2 for the second; 
room and furniture, $5 for the first session and $3 for the second. The li- 
brary fee was $1 per term. For the steward’s salary, $2 was charged for the 
first session and $1 for the second, and a like charge was made for 
servants’ hire. For personal laundry the charge was 37*4 cents per dozen 
pieces. 7 

Detailed regulations governing the conduct of students were laid down. 

At the beginning of every term, each student was required publicly, im- 
mediately after morning or evening prayers, to sign a declaration that he 
had read the laws of the College and solemnly promised to obey them 
under “the penalty of private admonition, public admonition, suspension, 
or expulsion.” 

Students were required to attend “punctually and respectfully” morning 
and evening prayers, all other services directed by the president or faculty, 
and public worship on the Lord’s Day in the College Hall or in an ap- 
proved congregation. A record of attendance was kept in the Merit Book. 


Faculty and Students, 1821-1825 
On the Sabbath, students could not leave the College premises or use 
any musical instrument. 

Honorable and gentlemanly deportment was to be maintained in all re- 
spects. Association with vicious company or with a person suspended or 
expelled from the College, playing with dice or at cards, billiards, back- 
gammon (“or any such games”), contention, falsehood, intemperance, 
injustice, profaneness, immodesty, uncleanness, or any kind of immorality 
would be punished. Students could not throw stones or anything else 
within a hundred yards of any building. 

Students were not permitted to keep a servant, firearms or any other 
deadly weapon, gunpowder, or horses or dogs. No student could be 
absent from his room after nine o’clock from October 1 to March 1, or 
after ten during the remainder of the year, “at which hours the doors 
shall be closed.” They were admonished to pay strict attention to cleanli- 
ness in their persons and in their rooms, not to spit on the floor or drive 
nails in any part of the building. They were required to wash themselves 
and clean their shoes in the place appointed for the purpose, and they 
were not to throw water or anything else from the windows. 

Damages done to any part of a building or its furnishings were to be 
charged to the person responsible and repaired so that “the damaged 
part is as good and comely as when new.” If done by parties unknown, 
the damage was assessed on the students at the discretion of the Super- 
intending Committee. Any cutting of the woodwork or defacing by 
making any kind of mark or removing or breaking glass was to cause, 
for the first offense, public admonition; for the second, suspension; “but 
for the third offense he shall certainly be expelled.” 

Students were not permitted, in or near any building, to smoke a pipe 
or Cigar. (The capital is used in the rules, perhaps to note that this is the 
more aristocratic of the two forms of smoking. The first cigarettes were 
yet to come.) Likewise, students were not allowed to keep any ardent 
spirits or intoxicating liquors of any kind, unless prescribed as medicine. 

Students who had been expelled could not enter the premises, and other 
students were not allowed to associate with them. Sacred respect for the 
property of persons living adjacent to the College was solemnly enjoined. 
When required, students had to give evidence in cases of violation of the 
laws of the College. Failure to do so or any manifestation of ill will toward 
a student who had done so was deemed punishable as contempt of the 


Bricks Without Straw 

In term time, no one was permitted, without faculty approval, to go to 
the city or any neighboring town, or to enter any tavern or public house 
in the county. Fines for unexcused absence from the College were 25 cents 
a day; for absence or tardiness from class, 10 cents; and for each day 
overdue on a library book, 10 cents. No club or society of any kind 
could be formed except under faculty authorization and subject to faculty 
rules. These are but a part of the requirements governing the deportment 
of students as set forth in the Laws of Columbian College adopted by the 
Trustees. 8 

Shortly after the faculty was inaugurated, titles for its senior members 
were fixed by the Board, each of three members holding appointments in 
both the Classical and the Theological Departments. President Staughton 
was designated Professor of General History, Belles Lettres, Rhetoric, 
and Moral Philosophy in the Classical Department, and of Divinity and 
Pulpit Eloquence in the Theological; Professor Chase, Professor of 
Learned Languages in the Classical, and of Biblical Languages and Lit- 
erature in the Theological; and Professor Woods, Professor of Mathe- 
matics and Natural Philosophy in the Classical, and of Ecclesiastical 
History and Christian Discipline in the Theological. The versatility of 
these reverend and learned scholars arouses our deepest respect. 

The position of the president for a time was somewhat ambiguous. The 
Reverend Dr. William Staughton (1770-1829), a native of Coventry, 
England, was perhaps the greatest pulpit orator of his time in the Baptist 
denomination. He came to this country at the urging of Dr. Richard 
Furman shortly after his graduation from Bristol Theological College, 
when he already had many valuable personal contacts in his native land. 
He began a highly successful career of preaching and teaching which 
moved him progressively from Georgetown, South Carolina; to New 
York City; to Bordentown and Burlington, New Jersey; and to 
Philadelphia, where he founded the Sansom Street Church. Dr. Staughton 
played an important part in the organization and work of the convention 
and of its board, where he held the key position of corresponding sec- 
retary. In the development of the board’s educational policy he had a 
decisive role. When the Theological Institution in Philadelphia was 
started, he was appointed principal; and when the move to Washington 
was planned, he was asked to continue in that position. The Institution, 
as set up in Washington under its Charter, took the form of a full-fledged 
college, instead of remaining a training school for ministers of the Gospel. 
In what was really the great organizing meeting of the Board of Trustees 

4 S 

Faculty and Students, 1821-182 j 

of the College, held on April 19, 1821, just two months after the Charter 
had been granted by Congress and approved by President Monroe, Dr. 
Staughton was nominated President of Columbian College. 9 

The president’s salary was fixed at $2,000 per year, with a house 
furnished. However, while Dr. Staughton still lived in Philadelphia, the 
salary was set at $40 per week for the periods that he was in Washington. 
As soon as funds permitted, professors were to be paid $1,500 per year; 
in the meantime, they received only $8oo. 10 

Word of the Trustees’ tender of the presidency to Dr. Staughton 
naturally got to Philadelphia, and before he could take the matter up with 
his people in the Sansom Street Church, a letter was officially approved 
by the church and sent to him through John Owens, the clerk. The 
members of the church had hoped that the earlier rumors would prove 
false, but now that the choice had been made, they wrote him in great 
concern. So unsettling had been the effect of the news that all their efforts 
were paralyzed. They could not raise funds to reduce the debt on the 
church or even to meet their current expenses. The letter called attention 
to the phenomenal success that had crowned Dr. Staughton’s labors there 
and expressed the fear that if he left, bankruptcy and the disintegration 
of the church membership would result. Dr. Staughton wrote them that 
he had not raised the question with them because his own mind had not 
been made up. He assured them that nothing but a sense of duty would 
ever cause him to leave Philadelphia. He felt that duty required him to 
assist in the arrangement of the affairs of the College for the next 
eighteen months at which time the convention would elect a president. 
He proposed to fill in at the College during the interim. That course he 

On May 15, 1823, Enoch Reynolds, the secretary, on behalf of the 
College Trustees, wrote to the people of Sansom Street, in a mood of 
conciliation and consolation, asking them to make the sacrifice and release 
their pastor to the College. As Dr. Staughton had told the Board on 
November 15, 1821, it was a sacrifice for him also. He was leaving a 
church of from five to six hundred members, with a regular congregation 
of a little less than two thousand, for a young college hardly able to sup- 
port a president. It was for that reason that he proposed the interim 
service, when he would be ready two or three times a year, and two or 
three weeks at a time, to come to the College. When the convention met 
in Washington in 1823, the College Trustees informed its members that 
“it is highly important that the President move hither, and the Board are 

Bricks Without Straw 


willing to guarantee him a support, till his salary shall be permanently 
assured.” 11 

Obeying the call of duty, President Staughton severed his connection 
with the Sansom Street Church on May 26, 1823, and preached a farewell 
sermon to a weeping congregation. The College now had a president in 
residence. 12 

To provide the College with proper teaching aids, Professor Alva 
Woods was directed to proceed to England and, if necessary, to the 
Continent, to procure complete “phylosophical apparatus,” specimens in 
geology and mineralogy and “other articles of curiosity,” and books for 
the library. Addresses to Baptist churches in Great Britain and on the 
Continent were to be prepared for him. Professor Staughton of the Medi- 
cal Department was also to proceed to Europe as soon as possible for 
study and investigation of medical teaching and to supplement the efforts 
of Professor Woods. They were absent for a year. Professor Chase, who 
was abroad at this time, having been granted a leave of absence for reasons 
of health, joined his two colleagues at various points during their sojourn. 

In view of the meagerness of the resources of the College, the expendi- 
tures of Professor Woods for books and apparatus seem considerable. 
While the library in 1825 contained 3,034 volumes, it cannot be deter- 
mined how many of them were packed in the six wooden cases and two 
trunks that were sent over in the Electra, Captain George Robinson, 
in the summer of 1823. The books purchased were valued on the invoice 
at 523 pounds 7 shillings. The philosophical instruments were valued at 
400 pounds 8 shillings sixpence. 13 

Not the least important of the efforts of Professors Woods and 
Staughton was the solicitation of contributions. The solid reputation of 
President Staughton stood them in good stead. The eminent Joseph But- 
terworth, son of a Baptist minister in Coventry, member of Parliament and 
co-founder of the British and Foreign Bible Society, wrote that he was 
highly gratified to note that the president of the College was his highly 
respected friend. Though he had not seen him for nearly forty years, he 
knew of “his rising reputation and of his extensive and increasing sphere 
of usefulness,” and as a mark of respect and affection for the president, 
he sent a contribution of 20 pounds. Other contributors of sums up to 
50 pounds included, among his countrymen, Lord Bexley, the Chancellor 
of the Exchequer; the Bishop of Durham; Lord Ashburton, of Webster- 
Ashburton Treaty fame; William Wilberforce, the philanthropist; Thomas 
Babington, uncle of the historian Macaulay; and Hannah Moore. The 

Faculty and Students, 1821-1825 47 

Honorable Richard Rush, then American Minister at London and later 
a Trustee of the College, was also a subscriber to the fund. 14 

So hospitably was young Staughton treated in England that his solicitous 
father felt called upon to write him that his parents were delighted to 
find him dining with notables like Rush and Wilberforce, but, he added, 
“You have too much good sense to become vain by such attentions on the 
one hand, and to undervalue them on the other.” 15 

Before the work of the Classical and Theological Departments had 
begun on College Hill, plans were under way for expanding the work of 
the College. On May 16, 1821, consideration was given to the establish- 
ment of a preparatory school; on November 24 of that year it was decided 
to establish a Medical Department, to be opened eighteen months later. 
The Preparatory School was ready to begin operations when the Classical 
Department opened, and Samuel Wait, who also served as a tutor in the 
College, became the first principal. Every student, immediately upon 
entrance in the Preparatory School, was required to begin the study of 
Latin. 16 

Although a delay of a year and a half had been planned before the 
Medical Department was to open, Dr. Thomas Sewall and Dr. James M. 
Staughton, the president’s son, both of them professors in the Medical 
Department, were inaugurated at the time of the formal opening of the 
College. In the interim, Dr. Staughton was to go to Europe to perfect 
himself in the branches he should teach. The Board undertook to pay his 
expenses up to $1,000 a year during this period. 17 

After a much longer delay than had been planned, bylaws and regula- 
tions for the Medical Department were adopted by the Trustees on Octo- 
ber 19, 1824. It was ordained that in the central part of the city courses 
should be given in anatomy and physiology, surgery, theory and practice 
of physics, materia medica, chemistry, obstetrics, and diseases of women 
and children. Before a student could apply for the ticket of any professor, 
he had to be enrolled in the Department at a fee of $5. For each ticket he 
paid $10, making a total of $40 for the courses given. The cost per ticket 
was increased to $15 shortly thereafter. Medical students could attend 
lectures in the Classical Department without charge. To be graduated, 
if he were not a Bachelor of Arts, a candidate had to satisfy the faculty of 
his classical attainments, attend each professor during two full courses, and 
be at least twenty-one years of age. He must enter his name with the 
dean and deliver an inaugural dissertation on some medical subject at least 
thirty days before the close of his course. Not only would candidates be 

Bricks Without Straw 


examined by the professors, but they must stand a public examination in 
defense of their dissertations. There was a fee of $20 for the examination 
and $5 for the diploma. 18 

The first course began on the last Wednesday in March, 1825, and was 
given in a building rented for the purpose on Tenth Street, N.W., near 
D Street. Dr. J. M. Toner gives the house number as 477. These rented 
quarters were so inadequate that a group of faculty members bought a 
lot at the northeast corner of Tenth and E Streets and built there the 
structure where the third course of lectures was given in 1826. This first 
home of the Medical Department was described as “large and commodi- 
ous, consisting of three elevated stories, with the roof peculiarly con- 
structed for the admission of light into all apartments appropriated to 
anatomical purposes.” On the ground floor were a lecture room, and the 
laboratory and rooms of the Department of Chemistry; on the second 
floor were rooms, public and private, of the professors of the theory and 
practice of medicine, of materia medica, and of the institutes of medicine 
and medical jurisprudence; and on the third floor were the anatomical 
theater and the rooms of the professors of anatomy, surgery, and obstet- 
rics. Lectures were held in this building until 1834, when the activities of 
the Medical Department were suspended for five years. When the faculty 
was reorganized, lectures were resumed in this building on the first Mon- 
day in November, 1839. The Medical Department now occupied, as a 
tenant, the building which it had formerly owned, because the property 
had been sold to General John P. Van Ness. He leased it to the faculty for 
five years beginning November 1, 1839, at an annual rental of $600. As a 
matter of grace, he remitted $50 of the first year’s rental to compensate 
partially for a bonus of f 100 that the faculty had to pay to be released from 
an agreement to rent much less desirable quarters for the same period in 
Purdy’s Hall at Four and a Half Street and Louisiana Avenue. Annual 
lectures were given in the building at Tenth and E Streets until 1844, 
when the Medical Department moved to the Washington Infirmary. 19 
While degrees in medicine were granted by Columbian College, the Col- 
lege had no financial responsibility for the Medical Department; the 
latter’s faculty handled all these matters at their own risk. 

The inaugural lecture at the opening of the Medical Department of 
Columbian College was delivered by Dr. Thomas Sewall, Professor of 
Anatomy and Physiology. It was a rather magisterial discourse and has 
remained a treatise of considerable interest, tracing as it does in some 

Luther Rice (1783-1836), 

Founder of Columbian College. 

The only known likeness of Rice; cut by Emily Redd 
of Caroline County, Virginia, prior to 1830. (The 
Virginia Baptist Historical Society.) 

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... ' ' ' jCy/f y' Aft/. ■■■'* 

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''%* /acs/s'/ / y/ <? s'7ss ; //'//<# ._ , 

c ft' / d//S/e s/S 4/, z/*rd*** S'/zC^a/ss/ss* / 
.C , . , -A / /' '/ S 

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tTsy t //fy .*,/'/,*/ S-TiS /%* Ay&r/rt rrtStlSs /iij^y / / 

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* /■ S. ss,'y , rv>y y. i. gy ssy^ss ■'2? y/sSe£. 

L ‘ ‘/ ‘ /z/z t ft >*<-' //ztSS' £*cy S/ftS/t AAz&S/*' 

• f S/r /-'Zf ,^/r/&/£yr^S/' ^f fr-gS /Y ^ //<zfz j t'^ 
,s/l'si' t jfYto l£±yZ ~ /if //?*-' ,?&* sfmj y . 

y//r<Zfer{ZZ c + 

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. sfy . z/v-'gy fy SAy/?t*s*t/x~//isi£' / sy*z 

An appeal for the contribution of funds toward the construction of the buildings 
on College Hill, signed by Luther Rice as agent, with supporting signatures of 
William H. Crawford, Secretary of the Treasury; John C. Calhoun, Secretary of 
War; Return J. Meigs, Jr., Postmaster General; William Wirt, Attorney General; 
and others. 

Above: The original College building on College Hill, constructed in 1820-1822. 
Below: The first building of the Medical Department, northeast corner of Tenth 
and E Streets, erected by the Medical faculty and occupied by the school, 1826- 
1834 and 1839-1844. The building was sold, and afterward, as shown, was used 
for commercial purposes. 

Left: Enoch Reynolds, first Secre- 
tary of the Corporation, 1821-1826. 
(Courtesy of Mr. Reynolds Mar- 
chant.) Below: Obadiah B. Brown, 
first President of the Corporation, 
1821-1827. (Reproduced by permis- 
sion from Dorothy Clark Winchole, 
The First Baptists in Washington, 

Henry Clay. As a member of Congress, he was a powerful ally in 
obtaining a charter for the College. He attended the First Com- 
mencement. (From the collection of the Library of Congress. ) 

The Marquis de Lafayette, guest of 
honor at the First Commencement. 
(Portrait in the House of Repre- 
sentatives, U.S. Capitol; reproduced 
from the collection of the Library of 
Congress. ) 

John C. Calhoun. A strong supporter 
of the College, he attended the First 
Commencement. (From the collec- 
tion of the Library of Congress.) 

President James Monroe signed the 
charter and attended the First Com- 
mencement. (From the collection of 
the Library of Congress. ) 

William Staughton, D.D., first Presi- 
dent, 1821-1827. (Portrait by Peale 
in the University Collection.) 

Stephen Chapin, D.D., second Presi- 
dent, 1828-1841. (University Collec- 
tion. ) 

Joel Smith Bacon, D.D., third Presi- 
dent, 1843-1854. (University Collec- 

Joseph Getchell Bipney,D.D., fourth 
President, 1855-1858. (University 
Collection. ) 

John Withers, Trustee, 1832- 
1861. Principal benefactor of 
the early College. (University 
Collection. ) 

John Quincy Adams, principal creditor of the early College. (From the 
collection of the Library of Congress. ) 

<£olumt)fau ColUar, 


d/* . Year//- Term, emlingy'J/ #y lQ2<T~ 
/ sy / /' 

Mr. !■ a * J)r» 

Tuition, . . 8 ofl 

Board ing, /f weeks, at per week 4# ^ 

Library, * ^ 

Steward , . 

Boom and furniture, • • . , . ^ ^ 

Bed and bedding, . ^ 

Coaif, // bushels, atdtf per bushel, d '<*40 
Wood, .......... > 

Lamps, ........ ^ 

Blacking shoes and boots, r . • £ • 

Servants ’ hire , ^ 

Washing, 3 j doz. at Sleets, per doz. / • 
Average of damages, . . . » * / /«r 

Vrivate damages , • 

• //ft 

Received Tayment , ' 


A student’s account covering all expenses for a term ( 1825 ). 


Faculty and Students, 1821-182 5 

detail the historical development of medical science and teaching in this 
country. He looked with guarded optimism to the role which the new 
Medical School would play. “We do not expect to accomplish in a day 
what has been found equal to the labour of years, in those schools that 
have gone before us. If success await the enterprise, it is only through a 
series of persevering efforts, and self-denying labour, that we shall reap 
its fruits, or receive its rewards. . . . Who knows but that it may be re- 
served to this school to make some new discovery in medicine, which shall 
commence a new era in the science or furnish the world with the remedy 
for some fatal disease which now eludes the powers of medicine?” 20 

One more new educational venture was attempted in these early years. 
Just a few days after the plan for a Medical Department was first brought 
forward, the Board of Trustees decided to establish a Law School “at no 
distant date.” After a delay of more than four years, a Law School was 
organized, on February 3, 1826; and the Honorable William Cranch, 
Chief Justice of the Circuit Court of the United States, and William 
Thomas Carroll, Esq., later clerk of the Supreme Court of the United 
States, were elected professors. 21 

Judge Cranch, described by President John Adams as “a nephew of 
mine, and to me very much like one of my sons,” served as a judge of the 
United States Circuit Court of the District of Columbia for fifty-four 
years. He served as reporter of the United States Supreme Court Reports 
and, in addition, published five volumes of the Reports of the United 
States Circuit Court of the District of Columbia and the Patent Decisions 
which he rendered on appeal from the Commissioner of Patents. Several 
of his sons were students in the College, as was also his son-in-law, William 
Greenleaf Eliot, Jr., the grandfather of T. S. Eliot. 

Professors Cranch and Carroll drew up a “Digest of By-Laws and 
Regulations” for the operation and government of the Law Department, 
which in its first article set forth the contents of the course: “Which 
course shall embrace so much of the Common and Statute law of England 
as may be considered applicable to this country, the Constitution and Laws 
of the United States, the laws in force in the District of Columbia, and the 
Constitutions and Laws of such of the several States as the Professors may 
find it convenient to lecture upon.” 22 

Judge Cranch delivered the introductory lecture on June 13, 1826, at 
the courtroom in the City Hall. The Daily National Intelligencer in its 
account of the occasion reported: “The lecture was grave and lucid, and 

5 ° 

Bricks Without Straw 

seemed to give great satisfaction to the audience, amongst whom, with 
other learned and distinguished persons, we noticed the President of the 
United States .” 23 

Thus auspiciously inaugurated, the Law School functioned until about 
two years later, when the unfortunate state of the College’s finances 
forced its discontinuance. Judge Cranch’s resignation was accepted by 
the Trustees on December 21, 1828. Since its reopening in 1865, the Law 
School has had an unbroken history. 

Still another department had been proposed by Luther Rice to the 
Board of Trustees as early as December 30, 1822, indicating an interest in 
the development of research in the field of natural science. He called the 
projected unit a “Phylosophical Department and General Repository” for 
research, discussion, and the accumulation of whatever material illustrated 
natural history. The College’s interest was to be brought to the attention 
of officers of the Army and the Navy who might be in a position to 
collect materials of educational value. The department was not established, 
although an approach was made to officers in the armed forces. Com- 
modore Porter was formally thanked by the Board on March 26, 1825, 
for his gift of Noahevian ornaments, a war conch, and an idol, and for 
his offer to make collections for the museum, for which a room was set 
aside. 24 

The Theological Department, in a sense the senior branch of the 
College, did not flourish. Successive reports of enrollment showed a 
decreasing number of students, although of the early graduates of the 
College practically half continued to enter the ministry of the Gospel. 
No degree in theology, divinity, or sacred studies, in course, was con- 
ferred. Professor Irah Chase, who had taught in the Institution at Phila- 
delphia, came to Washington at the time its activities were transferred 
there in the fall of 1821 and seems to have carried the major load of the 
courses in theology. 

On May 25, 1825, at a well-attended meeting of Baptist ministers and 
laymen from New England held in the First Baptist Meeting House of 
Boston, it was decided that the interests of the denomination required 
the establishment of a theological school near Boston. At the request of 
the meeting, the Massachusetts Baptist Education Society took the initia- 
tive, and its Executive Committee fixed upon Newton Center as the 
location of the new institution. The Reverend Irah Chase was called from 
Columbian College and set up a course of study. He began to offer instruc- 
tion in Newton Theological Institution on November 28, 1825. At first 

Faculty and Students, 1821-1825 S 1 

he taught in his own home in Newton, pending the acquisition of property 
and the remodeling of an existing structure on it. The new institution 
was chartered by the General Court of Massachusetts on February 22, 
1826. In 1931 Newton Theological Institution and Andover Theological 
Seminary affiliated, and in 1965 they merged as the Andover Newton 
Theological School in Newton Center, Massachusetts. 25 

When Professor Chase left Columbian, financial difficulties in the Col- 
lege were already becoming critical. On December 14, 1825, the Board 
appointed President Staughton to have “particular charge of the Theo- 
logical Department, one other professor to be appointed when funds were 
available.” From that time on, the report by classes of students registered 
lists none for the Theological Department. 26 

A report of the examination of students of the College at the end of 
each term regularly appeared in the Columbian Star, a periodical published 
in Washington under Baptist auspices, “devoted to the maintenance of 
Christian truth, the diffusion of religious intelligence, and the promotion 
of science,” and such other information as is sought in ordinary news- 
papers. 27 

The writer of the report of the examinations at the end of the first year 
was particularly eloquent, when, after detailing the subjects covered in 
each of the classes of the Theological, Classical, and Preparatory Depart- 
ments, he made a special appeal for the Preparatory School: 

It must be gratifying to every lover of sound learning to know, that while 
the Trustees and the Faculty of this College are exerting themselves to 
lead the youth committed to their care, through the best and highest course 
that can be pursued at a University, they duly appreciate the importance 
of the Preparatory School. For it is there that the foundation of scholarship 
must be laid. He that is poorly fitted for College will feel the sad effects 
through the whole range of his studies, and most probably, through life . 28 

The fall of 1824 was a festive period in the life of the young College. 
In October, the aged Lafayette on his farewell visit to the United States 
came to Washington as the guest of the city. Escorted by troops and 
delegations of citizens, he was received by the Mayor, Roger C. Weight- 
man, in the rotunda of the Capitol. The entertainment for the distin- 
guished visitor was lavish, the appropriation for its cost being the largest 
single appropriation for the year, and $900 more than was spent on the 
public schools during that period. 29 

In a spirit of great festivity on the evening of Lafayette’s arrival, 


Bricks Without Straw 

rockets were set off in large numbers, and the houses of many citizens 
were brilliantly illuminated. The College building, standing in unob- 
structed view on the heights north of the city, had the lights in the 
eastern, southern, and western fronts of the building, “amounting to 
several hundred,” ignited almost simultaneously. On the top of the build- 
ing, on the southern front of the cupola, was placed a transparent star 
eight feet from point to point. At ten o’clock all the candles were extin- 
guished simultaneously, as suddenly as they had been lighted. The effect 
must have been magnificent. “On the whole,” reported the Star, “we do 
not recollect having ever seen a more splendid illumination of a single 
building, in any of our cities, than was presented in the lighting up of 
this elegant edifice.” 30 

Lafayette was to return to Washington in the course of his extended 
tour. The Daily National Intelligencer, in its issue of December u, 1824, 
announced: “General Lafayette will return to the city in time to be 
present at the Commencement of the Columbian College, on the 15th 
instant, and on the 16th will depart for Annapolis, reaching the seat of 
Governor Sprigg on that day, and Annapolis on the next.” 31 

This was the first Commencement. The following official notice ap- 
peared in the daily press: 


The First Commencement of the Columbian College, in the liberal arts 
and sciences, will be holden on Wednesday next. 

The procession will be formed at the College, and repair to Dr. Laurie’s 
Meeting House, on F Street, between Fourteenth and Fifteenth; where the 
exercises of the day will begin precisely at half past 10 o’clock a.m. 

The parents and guardians of the young gendemen connected with the 
Institution, the Clergy of the District, and the friends of learning generally, 
are respectfully invited to attend. 

General Lafayette and Suite are expected to honor the exercises with their 

Copies of the Order of Exercises will be distributed at the house. 

By order of the Faculty. 

Wm. Ruggles, Sec’ry 

College Hill, Dec. 13, 1824 32 

As the secretary’s announcement stated, the place appointed for the 
Commencement was “Dr. Laurie’s Meeting House.” This Presbyterian 
Church was located on the south side of F Street west of Fourteenth on 
a plot of land now occupied by a part of the New Willard Hotel. It had 

Faculty and Students, 1821-1825 55 

been built in 1807 through the exertions of the Reverend James Laurie. 
The seating capacity of this room, 60 by 100 feet, was in excess of six 
hundred people, if the main floor and the semicircular galleries were used. 
Because of its size and excellent acoustics, the room was frequently used 
for conventions, concerts, and scientific lectures. 33 

The Board of Trustees at its meeting on December 2 had issued its 
Mandamus for the conferring of degrees and had appropriated $500 to 
defray the costs of Commencement Day. All students appearing at the 
ceremonies were directed to wear black silk gowns, “all of one and the 
same fashion,” which could be purchased or rented from the College at 
a cost of $3. 34 

The procession formed at the College at nine-thirty o’clock and moved 
to the meetinghouse. Fortunately the weather was unusually fine and “the 
house was crowded with an intelligent and fashionable auditory.” Present 
were the President of the United States, General Lafayette and his suite, 
the members of the Cabinet, and many members of the two Houses of 
Congress. Music was furnished, as it continued to be for many years, by 
the United States Marine Band. 

After President Staughton’s invocation, two sophomores spoke. The 
first was John Boulware of Virginia, who later became tutor in the Col- 
lege; he died in 1829. His topic was “Responsibilities of American Youth.” 
The second, John W. James of Virginia, later an Episcopal clergyman, 
spoke on “The Superiority of Grecian over Roman Literature.” Two 
juniors followed. Thomas D. Eliot of the District of Columbia, later a 
Congressman from Massachusetts, took as his topic “Timoleon and Wash- 
ington.” Baron Stow of New Hampshire, remembered in College history 
for his later feud with Luther Rice and in the history of his denomination 
as a highly successful pastor in New England, spoke on “The Influence 
of Mathematics on the Mind.” Each of the three members of the graduat- 
ing class was heard: Alexander Ewell of Virginia on “The United States,” 
Albert Fairfax of Virginia on “The Spirit of Liberty,” and James D. 
Knowles of Rhode Island on “The Philosophy of the Active Powers of 
Man.” Knowles, who was a professor in Newton Theological Seminary 
from 1832 until his death in 1838, concluded his oration with a valedictory 
address. The president conferred the degrees and delivered “an eloquent 
and truly paternal” Baccalaureate Address, which was followed by the 
Benediction. 35 

The press was enthusiastic in its reports of the Commencement. “It 
was one,” said the Daily National Journal, “which, in the opinion of 


Bricks Without Straw 

competent judges, would have done honor to any of our older univer- 
sities. Indeed it exceeded all expectations. Every part of the performance 
evinced talents and mental cultivation of a high order.” “To the Presi- 
dent, who has always honoured the institution with his confidence and 
kindness,” said the Daily National Intelligencer, “the scene of the day 
must have been peculiarly gratifying, as we are sure his presence was to 
the Trustees and Faculty of the College, who justly estimate the liberal 
disposition he has shown towards it.” 36 

After the exercises, the Trustees and faculty returned to the College 
to receive Lafayette and his suite. The General arrived at half-past three 
and was received by the Trustees and faculty. Escorted by the Reverend 
Obadiah B. Brown, President of the Board of Trustees, and Senator 
James Barbour, Lafayette passed through a double fine of students to the 
College chapel where the President, the Reverend Dr. Staughton, wel- 
comed him “in a brief address in which the elegance of the scholar, the 
gratitude of the patriot, and the piety of the divine, were finely blended.” 
“You have come, Sir,” he said, “not like yEneas driven to a foreign shore 
by unpropitious winds; not like Ulysses, searching an absent son; but 
like the good old patriarch, Jacob, you have formed the resolution, ‘I 
will go down and see my child, ere I die.’ ” 37 

Lafayette, in a gracious response, expressed his thanks for the honor 
done him, the pleasure with which he had witnessed the Commencement, 
and his wishes for the prosperity of the College. Each student was then 
introduced. The General shook hands with each one and spoke to all the 
students in terms of paternal affection. Following the reception, General 
Lafayette and his suite, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, 
the Honorable Henry Clay, and other distinguished guests dined with 
the Trustees and faculty at the President’s house. Such was the first 
Commencement Day. 

Many of the students who greeted the College’s guest on that eventful 
day wore blue ribbons and gold badges bearing an inscription in Greek. 
This was the insignia of the Enosinian Society. 

The first and by far the most important student society organized was 
the Enosinian. On March 6, 1822, just two months after the College was 
opened, a group of students held a meeting for the purpose of establishing 
a debating society. In the preamble to its constitution, the members 
declared that they were “actuated by a desire of improving ourselves in 
knowledge, eloquence and every accomplishment by which we may be 
the better prepared for any station in life.” They were “convinced that 


Faculty and Students, 1821-1 82s 

nothing will better tend to effect this purpose than the united exertions 
and active operation of a well-organized literary society.” There were 
fifteen charter members. A year later, another society, the Ciceronian, 
was formed, and the two societies jointly celebrated the Fourth of July 
for several years. Both societies flourished until financial difficulties in 
1827 caused a suspension of the College’s activities. As soon as the College 
resumed its activities in 1829, Enosinian likewise resumed. The Ciceronian 
Society was not revived. Much later, in 1850, the Philophrenian became 
the second literary society. General Lafayette and his son were the first 
honorary members of the Enosinian Society. The society established its 
own library, which by the middle of the century contained 1 800 volumes. 
The Enosinian Bee, which was established in 1838, was a folio page with 
a printed heading; it contained at least three-fourths original material 
and was read at each meeting by the editor. When the number of sheets 
reached a convenient thickness, they were bound in a volume and placed 
in the society’s library. The room in the old College building in the east 
end of the top floor, where the first meeting was held, remained the 
permanent meeting place. Handsomely furnished, it was designated as 
Enosinian Hall. “Enosis,” the poem by Christopher Pearse Cranch of the 
class of 1831, derives its name from the motto of this society of which 
he was an active member. 38 

The brilliance of the first Commencement Day served to justify high 
hopes for the future success of Columbian College. At the beginning of 
the second year the student body had increased to 46, and in September, 
1824, the year of the first Commencement, the registration figures showed 
a total of 103, a very remarkable gain. 39 

The College was feeling the pressure of numbers to such an extent that 
the Board authorized construction of a second large building “in line 
with the west of the present building, similar in size and appearance.” 40 
In May, 1825, the Board of Managers reported to the General Convention 
that the foundations had been laid and that the work was progressing. 41 

The days of optimism were coming to a close. When the Baptist Gen- 
eral Convention met in its Fifth Triennial Meeting in New York a year 
later, the fact that the College was in trouble and its future uncertain 
had already become generally recognized. 




C olumbian College was but five years old when it was called upon to 
face its first great crisis. Basically financial in nature, the crisis gradu- 
ally widened in scope and threatened the very life of the young institution. 
In the light of the close interlocking of the Board of Managers of the 
Convention and the Board of Trustees of the College, it is difficult to 
believe that both these bodies were not equally aware of the true financial 
condition of the College. 

Dr. Staughton was long the corresponding secretary of the Board of 
Managers, and then its president at the same time that he was president 
of the College. The Reverend O. B. Brown was a member of the Board 
of Managers and then its vice president while he was president of the 
College Trustees. The Reverend Luther Rice was treasurer of the College 
Board of Trustees and agent of the convention. Enoch Reynolds was 
secretary of the Trustees and a member of the Board of Managers. 

The annual reports of the Trustees to the managers were invariably 
encouraging in general terms. In April, 1821, the convention’s committee 
was “satisfied that existing circumstances justified the decision of the 
Trustees on the expediency of opening the establishment at an early day.” 
According to the report in 1822, “Every circumstance indicates the hand 
of God in all our operations. Daily inquiries show that this College is 
becoming a subject of general notoriety, and encourages the hope that 
it will rapidly extend its usefulness, and obtain, at no distant day, much 
greater patronage than the hopes of its friends had anticipated.” In 1823, 
the Trustees reported that outstanding claims, if collected, would liquidate 

5 <> 


Crisis, 1825-1828 

all of the College’s debts. In 1824, the Superintending Committee declared 
that “the confidence of complete ultimate success in relation to the great 
objects of the College is unimpaired.” “The Columbian College continues 
to prosper,” was the optimistic view expressed in the 1825 report. The 
Fifth Triennial Meeting of the Baptist Convention in New York in April, 
1826, heard an entirely different story. 1 

Regardless of the brave show it had made, the College never had 
claimed, nor did it do so then, that it had basis for the belief that it was 
in good financial shape. It did not have sufficient funds to cover the cost 
of initial construction on College Hill. It had to borrow $10,000 to start 
operations. There had been fancy calculations from time to time to indi- 
cate that eventually the College could pay operating expenses from stu- 
dent fees, but meanwhile annual deficits piled up. Strong dependence had 
been placed on Luther Rice’s fund-raising abilities. But the details of 
administration kept Treasurer Rice at the College for lengthy periods and 
kept Agent Rice away from his collecting trips. There was the usual gap 
between amounts subscribed and monies collected. Much was paid in 
scrip and was subject to heavy discounts. Finally there came to general 
knowledge debts hitherto not realized, arising out of Rice’s maladroit 
efforts at investment. 

In spite of the generally favorable conclusions in the reports, it would 
be grossly unfair to say that the College’s financial plight had been will- 
fully concealed. In fact, it was usually referred to at the same time and 
often in the same document which, elsewhere, would be optimistic about 
the College’s future. The founding fathers of the College were men of 
great faith, faith in God and faith in the College’s mission. Some way or 
other, God would provide. Luther Rice and his colleagues were never 
idle but were always actively thinking up ways and means. Efforts con- 
fidently embarked upon either failed entirely to produce or else produced 
funds far below the level of the College’s needs. 

The $10,000 which had been sought at the outset as a loan from the 
Board had been negotiated with great difficulty. The Board of Directors 
of the Boston Mission Society had been particularly hostile to the idea. 
From the very beginning the type of constant concern under which Rice 
was to labor was apparent from his letters in the field to the president of 
the College Trustees. On September 5, 1821, he wrote: “I hoped that the 
banks would renew for once rather than protest. . . . Besides what I have 
written for in New York, I will use my utmost endeavors here [in 
Providence] — so that if protested, I hope we will be able to pay without 

Bricks Without Straw 


suit.” That, even in the fall of 1821, he was working on a shoestring is 
made clear in a letter of October 24: “I wish all that we have in the 
banks in the District was in two or three notes, instead of nearly twenty — 
then by paying a little on each every discount day no doubt we could 
get along.” 2 

There also was always an abiding hope that government funds might be 
made available, either as a loan or a gift, to ease the institution’s financial 
embarrassment. Columbian College did not lack warm friends and sup- 
porters in the Congress of the United States, and they were active in its 
behalf. Their arguments were eloquent and persistent and must have 
seemed completely convincing to those who had a deep interest in the 
College. But there was a hard core of opposition, holding firmly to their 
fixed ideas of church-state separation, that was joined in sufficient numbers 
by those who were not firmly committed, to block aid to Columbian 

Early in 1824 the Trustees of the College directed that a memorial be 
prepared for presentation to the Congress soliciting a loan of $50,000 
for ten years. The Board emphasized that the College was of national 
locality, consideration, and benefit, “and although originated by Baptists 
was founded on the most liberal principles as laid down in the charter.” In 
his report on his committee’s consideration of the memorial, the Chair- 
man of the Senate Committee, the Honorable James Barbour, recom- 
mended aid in the form of lands belonging to the government in the 
District of Columbia. The report was not acted upon during that ses- 
sion. 3 

Printed appeals for funds were constantly being issued. In general, they 
followed a uniform style. A characteristic appeal was the one addressed 
“to the Friends of Religion and Science” dated March, 1825. The Trustees 
declared that the founders, “encouraged and sustained by the strong re- 
presentations of the great Washington and his illustrious successors,” al- 
though “destitute of pecuniary resources,” had “looked for the only means 
of accomplishing the object in the generosity of an enlightened and liberal 
public.” They referred to the purchase of the lot, the construction of 
buildings, the granting of the Charter, and the enjoyment of “the con- 
fidence, approbation, and patronage of the President of the United States, 
the Heads of the Departments of the Government, and many distinguished 

They listed the parts of the establishment — the Classical Department, 
the Preparatory School, the Theological Department, and the Medical 

Crisis, 1825-1828 59 

Department — as in operation, with a Law Department shortly to be organ- 
ized. There was a faculty consisting of the president, seven professors, 
and five tutors, with nearly 1 50 students coming from twenty-one of the 
twenty-four states, one territory, and the District. 

Funds were needed for an additional college building and the liquida- 
tion of existing debts. A sum of $11 0,000 had been expended for the lot, 
buildings, equipment, costs of collection, and the purchase of $20,500 of 
bank stock. Subscriptions, wills, legacies, etc., amounted to $114,000, of 
which $54,000 was uncollected. This left unpaid $50,000 of the costs, to 
which had to be added $12,000 interest, making a total debt of $62,000. 
This was reduced by the value of bank stocks in hand, and $10,000 which 
would be realized from the uncollected subscriptions, making a net debt 
of $30,000. 

The Trustees asked if there were not 30,000 among 10,000,000 people 
who would give a dollar each to clear up the debt and “experience in 
giving it, the high satisfaction of completing a design obviously conducive 
to the welfare of our country.” 

The modest amount requested of each individual in this appeal was 
not characteristic. Fifty-dollar subscriptions were asked for in the later 
and even more urgent appeal in 1826. From time to time efforts were 
made to raise, by subscription, endowments for the president and various 
professorships. The agent and other collectors in the field received funds 
and subscriptions in any form they were offered; Rice’s accounts show 
the donation of some pieces of jewelry to the cause. By way of identifying 
solicitors, large and impressive printed certificates were prepared, to be 
filled in, signed by the officers of the College, and authenticated by the 
corporate seal. 

The constant pressure on Luther Rice as treasurer and agent became 
increasingly severe. Facing him constantly were demands for running 
expenses and for meeting payments on outstanding obligations. So 
harassed was he that at times he would ask his friends to refrain from 
telling of his proposed visits to College Hill for fear that he would be 
besieged by creditors were his presence known. Not only was Rice col- 
lecting for the general concerns of the College, but his custom was also 
to open subscription books for special projects, such as the endowment of 
professorships and of the presidency. In addition to the collection and 
disbursement of College funds, he still had the responsibility of collection 
for the convention’s missionary activities. Over and above these concerns, 
Rice was directly involved in publishing matters. 


Bricks Without Straw 

The Latter Day Luminary was published five rimes a year and cost 
25 cents per copy. It reported in great detail the activities of the General 
Convention, its Board and committees. At the Triennial Meeting of 1820, 
the committee on the Luminary reported that the first volume of the work 
had been issued, consisting of 91,000 printed copies. It was understood that 
the Luminary should be self-supporting. A balance of $ 1 7.25 V2 remained 
after the completion of the first volume, with some additional payments on 
account expected. In 1822, Rice reported for the publishing committee 
that the Luminary would thereafter be published monthly at a cost of $2 
per annum, and that the Columbian Star would be issued weekly on 
Saturdays at a cost of $3 per annum and delivered to subscribers in the 
District on the day of publication. It was hoped that by increasing the 
number of issues per year and extending the coverage to include matters 
of general interest, the circulation would be vastly increased and a con- 
siderable source of revenue for the convention be opened up. Rice was 
responsible for the finances, much of the administration, and the promo- 
tion of these publications, thus adding to an already impossible burden. 4 

Yet Rice could still write to O. B. Brown when his troubles were 
mounting, “I no more sicken at the work now than I did five years ago.” 5 
To understand the grave crisis of 1826, we must recall that, at least to 
the Baptist Convention, education came second to missions. The logic 
of this position cannot be challenged. In the preamble to the first con- 
stitution the delegates stated that they had convened “for the purpose of 
organizing a place for eliciting, combining, and directing the Energies 
of the whole Denomination in one sacred effort for sending the glad 
tidings of Salvation to the Heathen.” 6 
True it is that Dr. Furman, the president, did make a reference to educa- 
tion in the Convention Address, but he underscored the efforts of the 
body as “directed chiefly to the establishment of a foreign mission,” 
with home missions to “enter into the deliberations of future meetings.” 7 
When the constitution was amended and passed on May 2, 1820, the 
new article inserted to provide for an institution for educational purposes 
stated specifically that it should be financed “exclusively from education 
funds.” 8 It seems to have been generally accepted that education funds 
and mission funds would each be used specifically for the purpose for 
which they were given and for no other purpose. 

This separation of funds was never made by Rice in his curious book- 
keeping. His receipts and expenditures for all purposes, including his own 
personal expenses, were entered day by day in his Journal. Moving rather 

Crisis, 1825-1828 61 

rapidly from place to place as he did much of the time, collecting for 
missions, education, periodicals, and special funds, perhaps it was too much 
to expect him to keep an orderly set for books. When the time came for 
a report to the convention or to the board, he would undertake to separate 
debits from credits and one account from another, and produce an 
itemized report down to the smallest items, even to gifts of 654 cents at 
times. He frequently protected himself by saying that any inaccuracies 
noted would be corrected in a later report. Some men have a genius for 
keeping orderly accounts. Luther Rice certainly did not. When criticism 
came, it was difficult to meet. 

At the meeting of the Board of Managers in May, 1825, Rice was 
referred to in terms that amounted to a vote of complete confidence: “The 
Agent of the Convention, the Reverend Luther Rice, continues his un- 
wearied course, alike in relation to missionary and collegiate concerns. 
His health remains vigorous, and his labors, above measure, are active and 
unbroken. Self-devoted to the service of the Saviour, he feels the vows 
of God are upon him, and these sacred vows he is endeavoring incessantly 
to discharge. It is the sincere wish of the Board that all his self-denying 
and generous purposes may be realized.” 8 

Evidently in preparation for the Fifth Triennial Meeting of the Con- 
vention, scheduled to be held in New York a week later, the president 
laid before the Board of Trustees on April 19, 1826, what the Minutes 
describe as “sundry statements comprising the accounts of the College.” 
These were referred back to him with instructions to prepare them in a 
proper manner. While these papers are not so identified, it is more than 
likely that they were Rice’s unorganized records which were so baffling 
and time-consuming to those who made an effort to digest them and pro- 
duce a balance sheet. Certainly there had developed a deep concern for 
the College’s financial standing, deep enough to become a matter of 
general knowledge. Whether sudden crisis had developed or whether 
patience, long tried, had finally grown weary enough to break through the 
haze of optimism and engage realities is hard to say. 

Dr. Staughton, the president of the College, from the account given 
in the Memoir by Lynd, his son-in-law, seems to have had the same views 
with reference to the institution’s finances that were held by so many 
others. “He had,” wrote Lynd, “unbounded confidence in those who man- 
aged the pecuniary concerns of the college, and while the note of com- 
plaint was swelling louder and louder, in different sections of the country, 
he seemed to view it merely as the result of hostility to the institution. He 


Bricks Without Straw 

entered into their defense, on every suitable occasion, with ardor.” Lynd 
tells us that Staughton never let pecuniary details occupy his mind. He had 
decided that the College’s difficulties were trivial. He had to change his 
mind, however. Writing to his son from the convention in New York he 
expressed real concern: “I look for a great struggle in New York, but I 
have the good hope that righteousness and truth will prevail. Perhaps 
brighter days are before us.” 10 

Certainly no better proof that crisis was at hand could be sought than 
the action of Luther Rice himself in taking the floor on the first day of 
the convention on April 26, 1826, and moving the appointment of a com- 
mittee of eleven “to investigate the conduct of Luther Rice in what may 
be considered as belonging thereto on his own individual and personal 
responsibility, in what may be considered as belonging to his official rela- 
tion to this body, and in what may be considered as belonging to his of- 
ficial relations to the Columbian College, and report to this body.” Rice 
followed this resolution with another. Noting that his name did not 
appear on the fist of nominees for election to the College Board, approved 
by the convention, he moved that his name be included on the list, but 
the session was adjourned. On the following morning the motion was 
called up, but by formal resolution it was postponed, and a resolution was 
adopted calling for immediate action to determine the financial condition 
of the College. Rice’s motion was referred to a committee for its sug- 
gestion of some viable arrangement at that afternoon’s meeting. The 
committee made the following report to which Rice gave his formal 

Mr. Rice having declared his determination to devote his time to the 
collection of funds for the College, and never again to perform any part of 
the service of disbursing monies on account of the College, unless specially 
directed so to do by a resolution of the Board of Trustees; and having also 
expressed his determination to retire from a seat in the Board of Trustees, 
provided he shall be found in the opinion of the Convention on the inves- 
tigation which he has invited, unworthy of that office, it is the opinion 
of the Committee that his name ought to be placed on the list for Trustees. 

The report was accepted and Rice’s name was added. 11 

The groundwork had now been laid for a complete expose of Rice’s 
entire financial operations. As was usual, when Rice’s report as agent for 
the past three years was presented, it was referred to the appropriate 
committee for examination and audit. In utter frustration, the Committee 

Crisis, 1825-1828 65 

on Agents’ Accounts reported that they had been referred to earlier num- 
bers of the Luminary and Annual Reports and a recent Manuscript Ac- 
count, and that they were not able “to accomplish an investigation from 
such resources.” Rice was ordered to furnish a Manuscript Account cur- 
rent to the committee by the following morning. 

Dealing with another facet of Rice’s operations, the committee on the 
Star and the Luminary was directed to inquire into the state of the 
property occupied by the publishing concern, which Rice had estimated 
to be worth $10,000 and had agreed to deed over to the convention. The 
committee prepared and presented a very detailed and circumstantial 
report. Although they lacked full documentation, they had interviewed 
many persons who had had some connection with the matter and had 
thus been able to fill in the narrative. The mood of the committee was 
eminently judicial and fair. There could be no defense for sloppy book- 
keeping, especially if it resulted in applying funds received for one pur- 
pose to another. Yet Rice did have a plea. If he had been unbusinesslike, 
so had the convention. Rice and his colleagues were profoundly impressed 
with the need for the Lummary, and later for the Columbian Star with 
its greater frequency, as instruments of communication to keep the mem- 
bers of the denomination at large informed of the activities of the con- 
vention and its representatives and thus increase the sense of involvement 
of Baptists generally in the vital work that had been undertaken. Con- 
scious of a generally felt need, Rice with characteristic impetuosity had 
gone ahead when the convention was based at Philadelphia and acquired 
and equipped a printing establishment there. He had done the same thing 
when the board shifted its base to the District of Columbia. Other than 
a requirement that the publications should be self-supporting, there was 
no formal arrangement as to the financial relations of the printing concern 
with the convention. In addition to the two periodicals, general printing 
was also done. Rice was the proprietor of the establishment. 

The property and equipment that Rice bought for the printing office 
in Washington cost $11,150. The real property, consisting of two brick 
houses valued at $1 0,000 by Rice, he turned over to the convention, with 
the understanding that the proceeds should be applied to his benefit until 
an amount equal to what he owed on the property was realized. When 
the property was deeded over, a committee of the convention was sup- 
posed to run the printing concern; but Rice had continued to operate 
the business and had applied sums paid in for the periodicals to meet the 
debts of the College. 

6 4 

Bricks Without Straw 

At the time the report was made, Baron Stow had recently leased the 
offices and premises, had discontinued the Luminary, and was running 
the Star on his own responsibility. The committee faced two problems: 
the debts of the business before, and after, the transfer of the property. 
Rice claimed that what had happened before the transfer of the property 
was his own business and that the convention should be concerned only 
with what happened afterward. The committee acknowledged that it 
lacked the necessary data to make a positive determination of the amount 
involved. “No leger [sic] or daybook had ever been kept in the office. 
The whole pecuniary accounts were noted in a subscription book. Mr. 
Rice informed us that he has always made minutes in his journal of what- 
ever monies he has received, but that these minutes are scattered through 
his journals ever since the work began.” An accountant was at work on 
these papers, but it would be a month before he could finish his task. The 
committee was at sea. The accounts were now cold, some of them nine 
or ten years old. There was no way of knowing which subscribers had 
paid and which were in arrears. The committee had also found a flaw in 
the deed. Part of the land used was not included in the parcel transferred 
to the convention. Since the Triennial Meeting would have adjourned 
long before anything definite could be known, the whole matter was 
referred to the Board of Managers, with power to act. Rice was absolved 
of any intentional wrong or design to injure the convention. 12 

On May 5, the convention heard the report of the committee on the 
conduct of Luther Rice that had been called for by Rice’s own resolution 
on the first day of the meeting. It stated that they had heard several wit- 
nesses, examined their charges against Rice, and given him a chance to 
refute them. Nothing was found affecting his moral character, but many 
imprudences and indiscretions, some of which he acknowledged, were 
found. By way of illustration a short history of Rice’s transactions was 
given. The report would seem, in a way, to absolve him from censure 
through the period of the convention of 1823, by saying that he presented 
an account of his operations up to that time. “But whether they were fairly 
understood by the Convention is very doubtful.” Of the various transac- 
tions entered into “in conjunction with the Board of Trustees of said 
College” after that time, two were considered as very imprudent. 

On his own private responsibility, certain houses were purchased of Col. 
R. M. Johnson to a large amount, and which were afterwards received by 
the Board of Trustees as College property, which have heretofore yielded 
very little profit to the College, while it has burdened it with a debt of 

Crisis, 1825-1828 65 

fourteen thousand dollars. Through him a claim of Mr. McKenny against 
the United States government was taken up, amounting to eleven thousand 
dollars. This also failed in affording funds to any considerable amount, while 
it loaded the College with the whole debt of eleven thousand dollars . 13 

Upon hearing the report, the convention resolved that no charge as to 
immoral conduct had been substantiated, that the urgent embarrassments 
of the College partially mitigated his imprudences, and that it appeared 
that Mr. Rice was a “very loose accountant . . . with very imperfect 
talents for the disbursement of money.” 14 

The committee on the concerns of the College reported to the conven- 
tion on May 6, 1826. The report was discussed in the morning and through- 
out the afternoon sessions, and a resolution of the greatest significance 
was adopted. The preamble declared that experience showed that the 
connection between the missionary and educational concerns of the con- 
vention had helped neither one, and that the convention could exercise no 
control over the affairs of the College which would be beneficial to the 
institution or would maintain public confidence, as evidenced by a recent 
decision of the Attorney General. The decision thus alluded to but not 
described was one given to O. B. Brown, president of the Board of 
Trustees, in reply to a personal inquiry, made of Attorney General 
Wirt, if the election of trustees could be held in New York City. The 
Attorney General ruled that elections must be held in the District of 
Columbia, the seat of the College. For these reasons the Trustees were 
asked to amend the ordinances by placing the nomination of Trustees in 
the hands of some body other than the convention, “taking care to pre- 
serve to the Baptist Denomination the effective control of the institution.” 
Recalling the general but erroneous impression that the convention was 
responsible for the debts of the College, the convention declared that if 
the Trustees followed the course recommended in the list of nominations 
recently furnished by the convention and if the Trustees’ policy was such 
as to inspire public confidence, they would use their influence and exert 
their powers to free Columbian College from its embarrassments. 15 

In the closing moments of the Triennial Meeting, it was announced that 
certain members of the convention had held a consultation to consider 
ways and means of relieving Columbian College. Their request that their 
minutes be added to those of the convention was approved. This confer- 
ence, in the Oliver Street Baptist Meeting House in New York, was a 
major factor in securing the continuance of Columbian College. 16 

With great boldness these friends of the College cut the Gordian knot 


Bricks Without Straw 

by making specific recommendations, which, under the circumstances, 
could not be rejected. A committee of five men of considerable distinction 
was set up to insure public confidence: the Reverend Messrs. R. B. Semple, 
L. Bolles, William T. Brantley, and Jesse Mercer, and the Honorable James 
Thompson. They recommended that measures be taken to reform the 
“One Hundred dollars system,” a scheme by which donors were permitted 
to send students to the College. The system as a fund-raiser was self- 
defeating, and was made all the more so by inaccurate records, so the Col- 
lege never knew exactly what its obligations were. The next recommenda- 
tion called for prudent retrenchments and economies in the operation of the 
institution. Measures were to be taken at once for raising a sum of §50,000 
in subscriptions of at least $50 each from responsible persons on condition 
that the whole sum be subscribed within two years, subscriptions to be 
payable in sixty days after the entire amount had been subscribed and on 
the certification of the committee that the financial condition of the College 
warranted their payment. The group recommended that the Board of 
Trustees of the College fill the present vacancies on it, the first ones with 
citizens of the District of Columbia named on the list of nominations. By 
way of change in personnel, the Reverend Elon Galusha was urged as 
treasurer to succeed Rice. The employment of Rice and such other agents 
as were necessary was recommended to collect outstanding subscriptions, 
to obtain subscriptions for paying the interest on the College debt and 
defraying its current expenses, and to solicit for the $50,000 fund. 17 

Following the suggestions of the New York group, an appeal was drawn 
up over the signatures of O. B. Brown and Enoch Reynolds, president and 
secretary, respectively, of the Board of Trustees. The appeal, which was 
distributed on May 18, 1826, fisted, in general categories, liabilities amount- 
ing to $83,028.60 and assets of $85,557.65, a balance of $2,529.05 over 
debts. However, because of the heavy interest on so large a debt, the 
carrying charges were excessive; and because so many subscriptions, 
notes, and outstanding accounts would probably fail of collection, at 
least for a time, it was judged that the actual debt of the College was on 
the order of $30,000. The Board therefore sought to raise $50,000 im- 

At the Board meeting where this statement was authorized, Rice 
resigned as treasurer but agreed to act in that capacity until other arrange- 
ments could be made. He was, however, to continue as agent, together 
with the Reverend Messrs. David Benedict, Jonathan Going, and Elon 
Galusha, and the Honorable John B. Yates. The Reverend Elon Galusha 

Crisis, 1825-1828 67 

was asked to move to Washington as soon as possible and assume the 
duties of treasurer. Committees were to be appointed to see what retrench- 
ment could be made in the expenses of the College and to ask the govern- 
ment to take back the obligation of McKenny and give up its claim against 
the College. 

Accepting election as treasurer to succeed Rice, the Reverend Elon 
Galusha was released by his own church to permit him to move his home 
to Washington and devote his whole time to the College’s concerns. He 
embarked upon his task with great energy and dedication. No better 
evidence of his zeal could be sought than the statement he had printed on 
September 1, 1826, bearing the bold heading: 


It is a lengthy document of approximately five thousand words, 
eloquent, and in places melodramatic, calling on denominational pride 
coupled with patriotic sentiment, human sympathy, and common business 
sense. The purpose of the document was to stimulate the drive for $50 
subscriptions to complete the $50,000 fund. In a note to Professor Ruggles, 
written on a copy of the statement, Galusha said, “I find that by sending 
this statement to an individual more effect is produced upon his mind, 
than by an hour’s talk without it.” His dominant appeal was to save the 
College with its glorious prospects for the Baptists. His arguments ran 
the whole gamut: to add to Baptist prestige, to protect the Baptist name 
from disgrace, to prevent discouragement to potential donors who had 
made previous gifts, to prevent “Episcopalians, Unitarians, or Infidels” 
from building on their ruins or profiting by their misfortune; to save em- 
barrassment from seeing “a powerful establishment rising up under the 
auspices of Government.” To those who would respond to the need were 
offered the affectionate thanks of the writer, the eternal gratitude of the 
denomination, the approbation of a good conscience, the smile of benev- 
olence, and a fond recollection in heaven! 18 

President Brown of the Board of Trustees reported that an election had 
been held on the first Monday in May and that 27 persons had received 
the required majority of votes cast and had been declared elected. Among 
these was Baron Stow, who became secretary of the Board two months 
later, succeeding Enoch Reynolds, who resigned. To fill vacancies in the 
Board caused by the failure to elect a full slate and by resignations, the 


Bricks Without Straw 

recommendations of the New York group were followed. James Barbour, 
Secretary of War; Richard Rush, Secretary of the Treasury; John Mc- 
Lean, Postmaster General; Samuel Harrison Smith, president of Washing- 
ton Bank; and Roger C. Weightman, mayor of Washington, were elected. 
Since they were public men with wide administrative experience, it was 
expected that they could add great strength to the Board and increase 
public confidence in the College. 19 

The new members of the Board became active at once. Baron Stow, the 
new secretary, was also editor of the Columbian Star and was thus in a 
strategic position to wield great influence. A graduate of the College in 
the class of 1825, he had a wide acquaintance among Board members, 
faculty, graduates, and students. He became, in a very special way, Luther 
Rice’s bete noire. 

At a Trustees’ meeting late in May, 1826, a letter was read from the 
Reverend John Kerr of Richmond, severely censuring Stow’s report of 
the General Convention in the Star's issues of May 6 and May 13. The 
Board referred this letter as an additional item for investigation to a com- 
mittee appointed the previous day and now instructed to inquire into the 
correctness of statements made in the Star implicating the conduct of 
Luther Rice. It was also to investigate and report on the pecuniary condi- 
tion of the College. The Board ordered its action and the names of the 
committee members, Messrs. McLean and Smith, published in the Star . 20 

As the days went on and as tensions increased, this linkage of the new 
Trustees, Stow, and the Star came to suggest to the beleaguered and 
badgered Rice the formation of a conspiratorial apparatus against him and 
against the College and its originators. Certainly many of the Board’s 
actions in the ensuing weeks and months were highly businesslike. They 
prohibited any new notes being given, and they ended the $100 system. 
Banks and other creditors were asked for a moratorium until January 1, 
1827. Sound systems of procedure were set up for the treasurer and the 
steward, the only two officers authorized to make expenditures. A new 
schedule of student charges not to exceed $180 per annum was set up. 
Rice’s books were turned over to Samuel Smoot for a detailed audit. These 
were wise measures whose only fault was that many of them were about 
five years too late. 

The effort to get a full picture of Rice’s financial relations with the 
College did not produce rapid results. Samuel Smoot, to whom the 
treasurer’s accounts had been turned over for examination, arrangement, 
and summary, was a graduate of the College and, for a time, principal of 

Crisis, 1825-1828 69 

the Preparatory School. Smoot understandably had his difficulties with 
the fragmentary memoranda and haphazard journals he had to handle. 
Once he gave up the task, encouraged to do so by Rice, but was ordered 
by the Board to resume. The new men, basically anti-Rice in view, con- 
trolled the Board for a period of six months. Although the majority of 
the full Board was probably never militantly anti-Rice, the quorum re- 
quirement was low, meetings were called on short notice, and the new 
men living in the District were able to attend meetings which, for one 
reason or another, out-of-town men frequently had to forgo. 

Many of the resolutions show the hostility of this group to Rice. On 
September 18, 1826, Rice was asked to state his view of his agency and 
produce records of what he had received in subscriptions and cash toward 
the $50,000 fund. Rice asked for a month’s time to prepare his reply. 
A month later to the day, the Board opened up on Rice with a broadside 
in a series of resolutions that lacked nothing by way of directness. The 
preamble stated that, as a result of the recommendation of the New York 
group on May 1 5, 1826, Rice was appointed agent to collect subscriptions, 
that Rice had returned to the College for a considerable time and had not 
informed the Board of his intentions in the discharge of his agency. Since 
the Trustees had obligations in this respect, they directed Rice to state his 
intentions so they could discharge their duties. Inasmuch as it might 
actually be shown by the facts that Rice was indebted to the College in 
a large amount — a fact probably not known to the New York meeting, 
to the convention, or to the Trustees at the time of his appointment — an 
unusual situation was created. Considering “the delicate and important 
circumstances,” the Board left to Rice the course to be pursued. If he 
saw fit to continue the agency, he must state, before his departure, the 
compensation expected and the services to be rendered, maintain strict 
accounting, and make regular payments to the treasurer. Personal dona- 
tions to any agent were prohibited. The action was ordered printed in 
the Columbian Star over the signature of the secretary. Rice protested, 
and O. B. Brown tried to have the order to publish rescinded; but with 
Rice present and voting, the motion to rescind was lost 5 to 7. Rice 
presented a written protest against the publication of the resolution as, in 
his opinion, “uncalled for and of injurious tendency.” 21 On November 8, 
he told the Board that he would not leave until he had finished a state- 
ment of his accounts. 

On February 23, 1827, in a letter to the Board of Trustees Rice pre- 
sented his claim for compensation for services for five and a quarter years, 


Bricks Without Straw 

amounting to $5,250, and entered into an examination of “a report pur- 
porting to ‘embrace a general account current between Luther Rice, as 
Treasurer, and the College,’” made on August 5, 1826, and showing a 
deficit of $26,008.69. As a result of alleged “omission, under-credit, and 
over-charge,” Rice claimed an overpayment on his part of $40.27, rather 
than a deficit. This, he said, he could ultimately show. He had already 
spent four months on his accounts, and to do the job completely would 
require at least six or eight months more. Meanwhile, the situation would 
permit no delay. The subscriptions toward the $50,000 fund were, by 
agreement, to be canceled if the full sum were not subscribed within two 
years. Rice therefore suggested suspending the examination of his accounts 
so that he could go forth to raise funds. A set of resolutions was adopted, 
stating the facts in Rice’s letter, accepting, for the time being, his allega- 
tions as to “omission, under-credit, and over-charge,” and directing him 
to give his attention to securing subscriptions and collecting funds. 

Printed in the same four-page leaflet with this letter was a second 
letter from Rice to the Board, dated March 14, 1827, referring to the 
final report of the Committee on the Financial Concerns of Columbian 
College, which had acted under instructions from the convention at its 
Triennial Meeting in 1826. He protested again that the deficit of 
$26,008.69 was determined without any reference to him. In this second 
letter he referred bitterly to the new men who had been brought into the 
Board and who had resigned several months later. These men, he said, 
“were brought into the Board by the honorable and conciliatory spirit 
of compromise indulged by myself and my friends.” If they meant by 
this method of leaving to embarrass the College, it was consistent with 
their whole line of action as an effort to take the College out of the 
control of those who had brought it into being. If, as alleged by Rice, 
they had not indulged in such tactics as tying Galusha up at the College 
for two months and him for six months when they should have been in 
the field, the $50,000 would have been entirely subscribed and partially 
collected. With the College now free from “party collisions” he was 
optimistic over the chances of completing the fund within the two years 
allowed. 22 

In the period between the writing of each of these two letters, published 
together in the leaflet, a series of events had occurred which account for 
the optimistic conclusion of the second letter. The resolutions of Octo- 
ber 18, 1826, mark the high tide of success of the anti-Rice group. Rice 
counseled the president of the Board, O. B. Brown, to see always that he 

7 1 

Crisis, 1825-1828 

had enough Baptists around so that the hostile members of the Board 
could not muster “the active majority on the spot.” “Smith,” he wrote 
to Brown, “will not be satisfied until he gets the college out of the hands 
of the Baptists.” 23 

When the Board resolved that, in the light of his explanations and his 
claim for compensation, Rice suspend his work on his accounts and go 
into the field to raise funds, Rice had triumphed. The Board had taken 
his word and continued his agency. There was a wholesale exodus from 
the Board. Stow resigned as secretary and as Trustee. Five other Trustees 
resigned. 24 

Rice had been exceedingly hostile to Baron Stow, and his hostility was 
reciprocated. Stow had come into a position of great power for so young 
a man. As secretary and member of the Board, he had immediate access 
to full information, at the same time that his control of the Star gave him 
an excellent medium of communication both locally in the District and 
throughout the denomination. Rice looked upon him as a fellow conniver 
with Smith of the Board and with Ruggles of the faculty, ready to de- 
liver the College over to non-Baptists. Rice’s claim that Stow had garbled 
accounts of official action in the Star to put him in an unfavorable light 
was investigated and declared groundless. Rice was sufficiently goaded by 
Stow to take to the public prints in a counterattack. To put an end to 
what was assuming the proportions of a scandal, the First Baptist Church, 
of which both men were members, held a meeting, reported in its records 
of November 10, 1826, as a result of which a reconcilation of a sort was 
effected, and the parties agreed to cease their recriminations against each 
other. 25 

Rice was evidently satisfied by the outcome. On November 23, he wrote 
to a friend that all was settled and that he and Stow were on good terms 
again. 28 

Baron Stow was shortly to move on to fields of greater usefulness. He 
was ordained October 24, 1827, and entered upon a pastorate in Ports- 
mouth, New Hampshire. After five years, he moved on to the Baldwin 
Place Church in Boston, which he served with great effectiveness for 
forty years. 

The Rice-Stow controversy indicated the general tension that dom- 
inated the College administration. In the year 1827 President Staughton 
resigned; Secretary Stow resigned; the steward, Robert P. Anderson, re- 
signed; and a number of Trustees resigned. The faculty individually and 
as a body offered resignations. 

I 2 

Bricks Without Straw 

Internally, the College was at a low ebb in morale. The members of the 
faculty had many grievances, not the least of which was unpaid salaries. 
The financial stringency which had so long afflicted the College had led to 
shabby treatment of a loyal teaching staff. Payments on salary, rather 
than salary, had been doled out tardily and were now greatly in arrears. 
The faculty, and particularly Professor Ruggles, had protested consis- 
tently and vehemently. It was generally known that their resignations 
were ready for presentation at any time. 

On March 19, 1827, Luther Rice brought to the Board word of a dis- 
turbing situation. “It had been intimated,” he stated cautiously, “that a 
spirit of restlessness prevails amongst the students and a disposition on the 
part of some to leave the Institution.” The Trustees immediately requested 
their Financial Committee “to enter into a free conversation with the 
Faculty” and to take whatever steps they deemed necessary. Consultation 
with Professor Caswell (later president of Brown University) and Pro- 
fessor Ruggles made it quite plain that the disquietude was due to the 
very generally known condition of the Institution’s finances and the fear 
that the faculty was about to resign. To dissuade the faculty from leaving, 
the professors were offered a lien on the library if they would agree 
both to stay until the end of the year and not to leave later with less than 
three months’ notice. Tutors who needed money to move would be paid 
in cash, and claims of the College against individuals were assigned to 
furnish the necessary funds. 27 

The student enrollment for the year 1826-1827 had been reported as: 
Theological Department, 1; Classical Department: Seniors 13, Juniors 5, 
Sophomores 14, Freshman 20; Preparatory School: First year 10, Second 
year 6, Third year 4; Unclassified 4; Total, 7 7. 28 

On March 26, the Financial Committee asked the Board’s opinion as 
to the desirability of continuing the operation of the College. Demands for 
payment were coming from every side — tradesmen, artisans, banks, 
individual creditors, and faculty members. O. B. Brown stated his belief 
that first attention should be given to the payment of the faculty. 29 

A month later the Trustees asked the College’s creditors for a breathing 
spell, to permit the use of funds for current expenses and to give a pledge 
not to bring suit or execution against the College for a period of two years. 
The resignations of Messrs. Caswell, Ruggles, and Conant, which had been 
presented to be effective as soon as other instructors could be appointed, 
were laid on the table. Six days later, the resignations, to which that of 
Tutor Heath had been added, were again presented. The Board was told 

7 3 

Crisis, 1825-1828 

that the faculty had dismissed all students. Again the faculty’s resignations 
were laid on the table. Feeling in the Board against the faculty was very 
strong, and attention was given to the propriety of bringing suit against 
Caswell and Ruggles, the two senior members, for damages caused the 
College by resigning without due notice and informing the students 
before notifying the Board. A committee was appointed to visit the stu- 
dents and take whatever measures they deemed necessary. 30 

The committee convened with the students in chapel. It would help 
any students who wanted to stay in the city to find cheap board. If they 
stayed at the College they would have the usual commons; and if they 
could not afford other quarters, the committee would give them places in 
their own homes. Ten students signed a statement declaring their inten- 
tion to stay at the College. A vacation was declared from May 1 (the next 
day) until the first Wednesday in September and it was promised that 
efforts would be made to get sufficient faculty. 31 

The Trustees’ offer to give the faculty a hen on the library to secure 
their salaries and thus dissuade them from leaving was formalized by a 
resolution of the Board adopted on March 26, 1827, and formally recorded 
as an assignment of property on April 12, 1827. Certain claims of the 
College against private individuals were assigned to Professor Ruggles, 
Professor Caswell, and Thomas Conant, a tutor. Ruggles and Caswell were 
each given a hen claim on all the books and pamphlets in the library to the 
extent of $550 on the express agreement that each was to continue his 
duties until January 1, 1828, provided that “the College shall continue so 
long in operation” and that each should give at least three months’ notice 
thereafter of intention to leave. 32 

At a meeting of the Board on May 9 it was reported that the professors 
had rejected this arrangement and again presented their resignations. 33 

The blows that had fallen upon the College had been particularly dis- 
tressing to President Staughton, a highly sensitive man whose great dis- 
tinction had been publicly recognized for many years. He was hardly 
prepared for crisis and threatened failure. Staughton had been consistently 
the optimist until the hard facts had cut the ground from beneath him. 
He felt personally aggrieved and used to say in his family, “I am familiar 
with humiliation.” With what he hoped was the strengthening of the 
Board by the addition of several distinguished Trustees in 1826, he felt 
the tide had turned in the College’s favor. He was in Charleston, South 
Carolina, on a fund-raising tour in the South when news came to him 
of the resignations of some of these men from the Board. He was shocked 


Bricks Without Straw 

and, as he wrote his son, did not know what to do or what to say to 
people. “The constant cry among the friends of the College is, ‘Doctor, 
any news from Washington today?’” On March 22 he wrote that he 
would probably send in his resignation immediately. “God only knows 
what I have suffered since I have been in Charleston.” 34 

His resignation, dated in Charleston March 23, 1827, was laid before 
the Board of Trustees on April 11, 1827. For a man who wrote eloquent 
prose and graceful poetry, the laconic nature of his letter tells much: 

Rev. O. B. Brown, President of the Board of Trustees 

I request you to communicate to the Board of 
Trustees, my resignation of the office of President of 
that Institution. 

Yours, with due respect, 

Wm. Staughton 35 

Dr. Staughton was elected president of Georgetown College, Kentucky, 
in 1829, but did not live to enter upon the office. He died in Washington 
on December 13, 1829, in the sixtieth year of his age. His funeral was an 
occasion of public sorrow. “All the clergy were present, even the Roman 
Catholic apostolic Vicar. The trustees, faculty and students of all the 
departments of the college, made arrangements and walked in procession. 
The house was surrounded by hundreds, who could not procure entrance. 
The Rev. Mr. Brown spoke, Dr. Chapin and Dr. Laurie prayed.” 36 Thus 
the College honored in death its first president, who by his personal 
eminence had added so greatly to the prestige of the young institution. 

With the resignation of President Staughton, an era in the College’s 
history was rapidly drawing to a close. By action of the Trustees, all the 
property of the College was conveyed in trust to three distinguished 
citizens — John P. Van Ness, James Corcoran, and George Bomford — to 
be held by them for the benefit of the creditors. The deed setting up this 
trust is a formidable document of fifty folio pages. The indenture, made 
December 15, 1827, was recorded ten days later. The document set forth 
the metes and bounds of the property. It provided that at any time or 
times after September 15, 1828, the Trustees might sell the lot or parcels of 
ground and premises with their appurtenances, after due advertisement, 
and pay off the debts of the College. It was further provided that in the 


Crisis, 1825-1828 

same way “the philosophical apparatus, implements, instruments, maps, 
charts, household stuff and furniture, goods, chattels, and effects of every 
whatsoever mentioned in the schedule marked A” should be held and sold 
in the same fashion, any surplus money to be paid over to the Trustees of 
the College. 

Schedule A contains a catalogue of the books belonging to the library in 
1825, numbering in all 3,034 volumes; a copy of an invoice of six cases of 
philosophical instruments ordered by the Reverend Alva Woods, listing 
each of the items; a general statement showing the value of each of the 
cases of instruments and each of the six cases and two trunks of books; 
and a complete inventory of the furniture, goods, and “affects” [sic] of 
the College, made by the steward on May 14, 1827. 

Despite its cold legal formality, there is high tragedy in this document. 
All that was material that Luther Rice and his co-laborers had been able to 
accumulate was apparently about to fall away. A noble effort seemed to be 
on the point of failure. 

Luther Rice, founder, defender, and chief fund-raiser of the College, 
resigned from the Board, followed shortly by O. B. Brown, the president 
of the Board. As the time drew near for the scheduled resumption of the 
College’s operation, a resolution of the Board extended the vacation hope- 
fully until arrangements could be made for paying the debts. 37 

The resignation of the Reverend Obadiah Bruen Brown from the 
presidency and from membership on the Board of Trustees was particu- 
larly significant. When Luther Rice began to identify himself with Baptist 
concerns in the District of Columbia, Brown was already pastor of the 
First Baptist Church, which he was to serve in that capacity for half a 
century. Not only was Brown the pastor of an important church; he was 
also a man of affairs, a leading citizen with broad personal contacts locally 
and nationally, and recognized as a leader in his denomination. It is not too 
much to say that his services to the College were second in value only 
to those of Rice. He was one of the small group that raised the funds 
and purchased College Hill. He was active in supporting missions, par- 
ticularly those in Africa, and in espousing the cause of education in his 
denomination. He was the first president of the Board of Trustees. Because 
Dr. Staughton’s acceptance of the office of president of the College was 
long delayed and when accepted made possible his presence in Washington 
only for limited periods at infrequent intervals, Brown virtually had to 
serve also as President of the College. With Rice in the field, he had also to 

16 Bricks Without Straw 

take over many of the treasurer’s functions. Rice never hesitated to ask 
anything of Brown — to write letters, to confer with individuals, to placate 
creditors, and very often to guarantee funds by his own endorsement. 
Without him, Rice would have been ineffective in large degree, for Brown 
was what Rice was not — orderly, methodical, and practical. In the days of 
bitter controversy, Brown stuck faithfully by Rice, and Rice gave Brown 
his fullest confidence. 

As embarrassing as were the indefinite suspension of its academic 
activities, the withdrawal of so many important figures from places 
of leadership, and the existence of wholesale ill will in the College com- 
munity, the massive weight of heavy indebtedness was perhaps even 
more distressing. Each effort to draw up an accounting of Rice’s finan- 
cial relation to the institution produced a different amount of the 
alleged shortage. Each was countered by Rice with his familiar formula 
of “omission, under-credit, and over-charge,” producing a result favor- 
able to him as treasurer and agent. 

Without attempting to draw up a balance sheet — because that was 
virtually impossible even a hundred and forty years ago — it is at least 
illustrative to point out some of the major areas and sources of indebted- 
ness. One of the more succinct statements on the question of the debt 
was made by Rice in his letter of February 23, 1827, to the Board of 
Trustees, when he pointed out that some of the deficit antedated the 
College Hill operation. The operation of the Theological Institution in 
Philadelphia, before its removal to the District, had resulted in a deficit 
of $6,665, which, with interest charges, had risen to $9,237.18. There 
had been greater costs than had been provided for in the construction 
of the main College building and in the expenses of the agency. There 
had been unusually high charges in the form of premiums on drafts, pro- 
tests, and discounts on noncurrent bills, in addition to heavy interest 
charges on sums borrowed from banks and from individuals. Then there 
was the debt incurred through Rice’s curious attempt at investment 
which had resulted in obligating the College to the government for a 
substantial sum. 

The Christian Secretary of Hartford, Connecticut, in its issue of May 
10, 1828, reported that the inquiry had been frequently made, “How did 
the College become indebted to the government in the sum of $30,000, 
without having received a consideration of equal value?” A letter from 
Rice answered the inquiry. So involved was the answer that it is best 
given in Rice’s words: 

Crisis, 1825-1828 77 

The facts are: A friend of mine held two large houses and lots at Greenleaf’s 
Point in the City of Washington, which had come into his hands to secure 
a debt for a relative of his, who was, at the same time, a debtor to a bank in 
Cincinnati, Ohio, in which bank the government had made deposits of 
money arising from the sale of public lands in the western country; but 
the said bank was failing, and the government likely to suffer loss. He 
proposed to convey to me the said two dwelling houses and lots — that my 
obligation should be given to the government, with a lien upon the property — 
and the government give his relative credit in the aforesaid failing bank in 
Cincinnati. The arrangements were agreed to; the conveyance of obligation 
executed; and thus I became a debtor to the government in the sum of 
$14,000. This was in 1820. 

A few years only had passed by when application was made to Congress 
for a loan of $50,000. The house rejected the application; but a bill was got 
up in the senate to make over to the College certain debts, including mine, 
due the government, and other property, in all to the amount of $30,000; 
and the bill came within two or three votes of passing. — This fact, and the 
remarks and suggestions of several members of Congress, produced the belief 
that if the College were the direct debtor to the government it would not 
be difficult to obtain a relinquishment of the obligation. Under this impression 
— considering that the arrangements concerning the two houses at the Point 
had been entered into by me solely for the purpose of enabling me to 
prosecute more successfully the objects of the College — and fully expecting 
that Congress would give up the claim in a short time, the Board of Trustees 
consented to make an obligation to the government in lieu of mine, which 
was, therefore, cancelled; and hence, the College became indebted to the 
government $14,000! 

To this was added the sum of nearly $12,000, in the following manner: 
Col. McKenney was indebted to the government to that amount; but held 
a claim against the government for say $8,000. Pie proposed that the College 
obligation should be given to the government, and the amount of his claim, 
when obtained, paid over to the College, and the balance that would be due 
the College from him, be paid by installments quarterly out of his salary. 
It was expected his claim would be allowed soon; would become the same 
in effect as a loan from the government, which might remain an indefinite 
period without being repaid, and perhaps ultimately become a donation. 
This was finally agreed to, and the College was then a debtor to the 
government to nearly $26,ooo. 38 

Apparent losses incurred through Rice’s bad management by no means 
explained the total deficit. The College had never been properly financed. 
An initial loan of $10,000 was required to get it under way, and deficits in 
running expenses had resulted in a mass of loans from individuals and from 

In the early computations, the liabilities were about balanced by the 

Bricks Without Straw 

7 8 

assets, consisting mainly of the grounds and improvements on College 
Hill. On later reckonings the liabilities tended to soar above the assets. The 
problem was approached by almost equal expenditure of effort in two 
directions: whittling down the claims by appeals to the creditors and 
soliciting subscriptions to the $50,000 fund. 

A Bill for relief of Columbian College, in the District of Columbia, 
passed by the Congress in the spring of 1828, freed the institution from its 
liability to pay the United States the sum of $30,000, inasmuch as the 
College had received no benefits from its indebtedness to the government. 
The Trustees, in accordance with the provisions of the Act, deeded the 
houses on Greenleaf’s Point to the United States. Thus was removed the 
largest single item of indebtedness. 39 

In order to tie in with the method of solicitation then being employed, 
the ordinances fixing eligibility to vote for Trustees were changed. Any 
Baptist group giving not less than $50 had one vote, two votes for $100, 
and an additional vote for each added $50. Any Baptist pastor giving $50 
became a voter for life. 40 

Student charges for the future were fixed at $200 per year: $30 for 
tuition and $100 for board for the first session, and $20 for tuition and 
$50 for board for the second session. 41 

The Bank of the United States, Philadelphia branch, agreed to relinquish 
$5,698.22 of the sum due that bank. 42 

On April 19, 1828, the committee that was established at the New York 
meeting on May 9, 1826, to certify when, within the two-year period 
allowed, the financial returns would warrant the payment of sums sub- 
scribed to the $50,000 fund, certified that the subscription was completed 
and that the conditions of payment were fulfilled. Commenting on this, 
the Columbian Star took a very conservative position. It expressed the 
hope that subscribers would pay promptly and, if possible, increase their 
contributions. The Star observed that the debts of the College were stated 
at $102,000, that the various banks had relinquished a part of their claims, 
that the other creditors would be paid 65 per cent of their claims, and that 
the net amount would then be $71,027, for which the College had in view 
only $67,440. To meet this deficit of $3,587 the College could only fall 
back on old claims which had gone long unpaid. The Star commented that 
none of these debts had ever been authorized by the convention. The Star 
might have added that the certifying committee had acted just in time. 43 
The two-year period allowed would have expired in less than three weeks’ 
time, and all the subscriptions would then have been canceled automati- 

7 9 

Crisis, 1825-1828 

cally. While, all things being considered, it is fortunate that the certifying 
committee acted when and as it did, the picture was actually less favorable 
than they knew. New claims came in amounting to $4,000, and but 
$33,000 of the $50,000 subscribed was paid in. There was still a large debt! 

The Board was not aware of this, any more than were the members of 
the Committee. Ever since President Staughton’s resignation, they had 
been casting about for a new president. On August 28, 1827, the Reverend 
Daniel H. Barnes of New York was elected. He demanded, as conditions of 
his acceptance, the right to remodel the statutes and ordinances, a veto 
on the appointment of all teachers and agents, the same perquisites as 
the presidents of Brown University and Union College, and a salary of 
$2,000 per year, payable quarterly in advance and to be raised to $3,000 
as soon as possible, the same to be secured by bonds of responsible individ- 
uals for ten years at least. The Board could only regret that these condi- 
tions could not be met and on October 20, 1827, informed Barnes that 
the position had been offered to another. The new choice was the Reverend 
Dr. Stephen Chapin of Waterville, Maine, who was offered the post with 
a salary of $1,500 and free rent in a good house. He accepted and was 
formally elected on June 20, 1828. 44 


Financial "Recovery 


T he College’s major problem from the very beginning was financial. 

The College was assailed by demands from all quarters; hence it 
was not surprising that the vacation declared first from May 1, 1827, to 
the first Monday in the following September should be finally extended 
until arrangements could be made for paying the debts of the institution. 
All seemed to depend on the completion of subscriptions to the $50,000 
fund within the two-year period allowed as a condition of the payment 
of the pledges made. The schedule was barely met, and within two months, 
on June 20, 1828, the Reverend Stephen Chapin was formally elected 
second president of Columbian College. 

Stephen Chapin (1778-1845) was a native of Milford, Massachusetts, 
a graduate of Harvard, and, like Luther Rice, a Congregational minister 
turned Baptist. At the time of his election, he was Professor of Theology 
in Waterville (now Colby) College. 

President Chapin’s administration (1828-1841) was devoted to the ar- 
duous task of releasing the College from all indebtedness. On May 9, 
1842, the Board announced that this great objective had been achieved; 
and on the twenty-fourth of that month at a service of special com- 
memoration in the College Chapel, solemn thanksgivings were offered to 
Almighty God for His saving mercy. 

So central had the problem of finance been that it is revealing to 
survey the steps taken in the Chapin, Bacon, and Binney administrations to 
meet the continued difficulties which, though harassing, did not again 
force a suspension of the institution’s activities. 1 


Financial Recovery, 1828-1859 81 

Luther Rice, looking back at the distressing situation into which the 
College had fallen in the late 1820’s and from which it was slowly extricat- 
ing itself, summarized rather adequately the causes of the trouble: 

First. Four unfortunate errors produced in the first instance, the embarrass- 
ment of the institution, viz.: going in debt, too much cost and parade of 
faculty, incautiously crediting students and supporting beneficiaries without 
means, and my remaining so much of my time at the college to assist in 
managing its affairs, instead of being constantly out collecting funds. 

Second. This erroneous course was fallen into more readily, because at the 
time, funds were circulating freely through the community, and subscriptions 
and collections were easily obtained. But when debts had been contracted, 
an over proportion of faculty employed, students largely indulged on credit, 
with beneficiaries on hand, a great change took place in the financial 
condition of the whole country; still hoping this state of things would prove 
only temporary, the corrective was not immediately applied, as it ought to 
have been, and serious embarrassment, at length, began to be felt. 2 

Each of these errors was to some degree guarded against, but never 
completely enough, as the College resumed its functions. In some cases, 
the Trustees by overcaution increased the institution’s trouble. To elim- 
inate “too much cost and parade of faculty,” the teaching staff was cut 
so far back that it could no longer provide adequate instruction. Teachers’ 
salaries were pared down so far and payment was so partial and irregular 
that a rapid turnover in staff resulted, much to the discouragement of an 
esprit de corps at a critical period. As has been mentioned, in 1842 the 
Board was able to announce the College’s release from indebtedness. There 
was slow growth during the Bacon and Binney administrations. It was not 
apparent in the size of the student body, which tended to fluctuate 
erratically and was at best an unpredictable source of revenue from tuition. 
It was to be seen, instead, in improvement in administration. There was 
a new caution in matters financial. Efforts were made to reduce the 
amount of outstanding rights to nominate students with credit for tuition, 
an unfortunate lien placed on the College’s receipts as a device to attract 
subscribers to special funds. 

Comprehensive financial reports were regularly made to the Board 
and scrupulously audited by select committees. Individual members of 
the staff were not allowed to incur obligations in the name of the College 
without formal appropriation. Even the Executive Committee’s power to 
authorize expenditures was called in question at times. This closer 
scrutiny given for the first time to business matters provided a real basis 


Bricks Without Straw 

for developing financial policy. The Board now knew what the proceeds 
from fees would probably be and what the invested funds would yield, 
and also the difference between these amounts and the standing expenses of 
the College. While their sights were never set high enough, they tried to 
figure out the necessary increases in endowments to take care of the 

All of these moves indicated progress. Had the Trustees been able 
consistently to improve their procedures along this line, the way to finan- 
cial solvency might have been found. But a new set of circumstances was 
to create new difficulties and plunge the College again into a period of 
grave uncertainty. The problem of slavery, with its attendant features of 
sectionalism and states’ rights, added a new source of trouble to the diffi- 
culties that Luther Rice had so candidly stated. 

Despite all the improvement in financial administration, there was one 
area within the College that cried for reform, and there was no reform. 
In fact, the pressure for funds exaggerated and compounded a serious 
practice that was to be spelled out, word for word, in the Attorney 
General’s Report of 1910. The Trustees did not protect the endowment. 
Time after time, appropriations for running expenses were made from 
uninvested endowment funds. In a growing enlightenment in matters 
financial this was a tragic blind spot. 

Relations with the Baptist Convention remained ambiguous. In 1826 the 
convention had asked to be relieved of the task of nominating members 
of the Board of Trustees. The Trustees were, however, anxious to main- 
tain the connection. In a resolution of September 10, 1828, they stated very 
frankly that the College could not prosper without extensive patronage 
and that the best way to obtain the patronage of any religious denomina- 
tion was “through some representative body.” They asked, therefore, 
that at the coming session of the convention a slate of at least fifty persons 
be nominated to be submitted to the contributors for election as Trustees. 
They earnestly requested the convention “either themselves to retain 
the powers of said nomination in future, or to take steps to have an Educa- 
tion Convention organized for this purpose, or any other [steps] tending 
to the prosperity of the College and the general interests of edu- 
tion.” 3 

The convention, acting upon the Board’s resolution, stated that since 
the Trustees did not consider the action with reference to the College 
taken at the last convention as imperative, and that since the patronage of 
no other Baptist group had been obtained, those who had been valiantly 

Financial Recovery, 1828-1859 83 

working to sustain the College deserved the encouragement of an ac- 
ceptance of their request. A list was accordingly drawn up and submitted 
to the contributors for election. 4 

Following this precedent, a list of nominations was prepared and ap- 
proved at the Seventh Triennial Meeting in 1832, 5 at the Eighth Triennial 
Meeting in 1835,® at the Ninth Triennial Meeting in 1838, 7 at the Tenth 
Triennial Meeting in 1841,® and at the Eleventh Triennial Meeting in 

At the special meeting of the convention held in New York on Novem- 
ber 20, 1845, a committee of three was appointed to inform the College 
Trustees of the contemplated change in the organization of the conven- 
tion so that they might make plans for the future elections of Trustees. 10 

At the adjourned session of the convention, meeting under the new 
name of the American Baptist Missionary Union, on May 21, 1846, the 
convention relinquished “all right, title, and interest which they may have 
to the real estate, or any other property, belonging to or in the possession 
of Columbian College, in the District of Columbia.” 11 The transfer in 
title was duly made, and now, after a quarter of a century, the Trustees of 
the College held their real property in fee simple. 12 

In its evolution, the convention had now gone full cycle. Started in 
1814 as an organization to further and support missionary enterprise, it 
had adopted education in 1820 as a major concern by an amendment to 
the constitution, putting the governance of “an Institution for education 
purposes,” when located, in the hands of its Board of Managers. In 1826, 
pointing out that the connection between the missionary and educational 
concerns had helped neither, the convention had asked the Trustees to 
amend their ordinances so that the nomination of Trustees would be 
placed in other hands, “taking care to preserve to the Baptist Denomina- 
tion the effective control of the Institution.” 

The Trustees realistically enough equated Baptist control with Baptist 
support. Overtures were not made to other Baptist bodies, and the Board 
clearly demonstrated by its requests to the Convention for nominations 
at its Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Triennial Meet- 
ings that it still desired this denominational tie. At times, the request was 
a simple and formal one, but at other times it was accompanied by a 
lengthy communication. 

In 1835, in asking for the Convention’s nominations, the Trustees 
called attention to the grant of city lots from the Congress; to the success 
that was crowning their efforts to gain new pledges; to a student body 

Bricks Without Straw 


of 50, of whom 2 1 were professedly pious, with 1 7 of their number look- 
ing toward the ministry; to the activities of a student Society for Mission- 
ary Inquiry; and to the number of young men who had gone forth to 
serve the church and public institutions. 

In 1841, the Trustees made an eloquent plea for support. They pointed 
out that 60 students were necessary to meet the salaries of the faculty, 
that there were only 28 enrolled, and that, of these, only 20 were full-pay 
students. In 1844, the Trustees’ letter joyously announced that the Col- 
lege’s debts had been paid. 

At its adjourned meeting in 1846, the convention accepted an Act of 
Incorporation granted by the Legislature of Pennsylvania on March 13, 
1846, entitled “An Act changing the name of the association known as 
‘The General Convention of The Baptist Denomination in the United 
States for Foreign Missions and other important objects relating to the 
Redeemer’s Kingdom’ to that of ‘The American Baptist Missionary 
Union’ and for altering and amending the charter of the same,” and also 
an act of the Legislature of Massachusetts passed March 25, 1846, for 
the same purpose. It was resolved that when the convention adjourned 
it meet on the third Thursday of May, 1846, for purposes of organization 
as the American Baptist Missionary Union. 

The Acts of Incorporation and the new constitution were specific: “The 
single purpose of the said Baptist Missionary Union” was missions. They 
were back again to the constitution of 1814 in their sole dedication to 
missions. The relinquishment of the title to the College property 13 was a 
matter of cold logic. 

Just how profitable in a financial way was the patronage that was 
symbolized by the convention’s nomination of Trustees cannot be esti- 
mated. With a desperate need to get support wherever it could be found, 
it was perhaps wise at the time to hold on to the Baptist connection. True 
it was, there was no subsidy from denominational sources; but, in the 
appeal to individuals, Trustee nomination could suggest sponsorship and 
open Baptist purses more easily. The main drive for funds was directed 
toward Baptists, the agents were Baptist ministers, and appeals to denomina- 
tional loyalty were not lacking. It was unfortunate that the yield was so 

The possibility that the government might be a source of financial 
assistance was ever present in the minds of the Trustees. General Wash- 
ington’s frequently reiterated interest in a national university and the 

Financial Recovery, 1828-1859 85 

bequest in his will, the sponsorship of his idea by many of his successors, 
the frequently expressed interest of Presidents, especially Monroe, in 
Columbian College, and the very regular attendance of Presidents and 
Cabinet members at the Commencements — all of these suggested that the 
College might legitimately claim assistance from the federal government. 
The Congress did in the spring of 1828 pass an act to relieve the College 
by freeing it from liability for the payment of $30,000, a debt incurred by 
Rice in some of his more naive ventures in finance. 14 This Congressional 
relief, along with the relinquishment of $5,698.22 of a sum due The Bank 
of The United States, Philadelphia Branch, helped tremendously in the 
1826-1828 period when the $50,000 fund was being raised. It did not, 
however, end recourse to Congress for later assistance. The Memorials 
continued to be sent. They next bore fruit when, by an act of Congress 
approved July 14, 1832, there were granted to Columbian College city 
lots to the value of $25,000 to be selected and valued by the Commissioner 
of the Public Buildings. The proceeds of the sale of these lots were “not 
to be otherwise used by the said trustees than as a capital, to be by them 
forever hereafter kept vested as aforesaid.” 

In accordance with the act, Joseph Elgar, commissioner, selected and 
conveyed to the College 180 city lots. 15 Because of the pressure of 
immediate obligations, the Trustees requested and received a supplemental 
act approved February 28, 1839, authorizing them to sell as many lots 
as were necessary to raise the sum of $7,000 to be applied toward the 
corporation’s debts. By April 23, 1841, sufficient lots had been sold to 
realize the $7,000; notes amounting to $4,187.39 which had been taken 
for the sale of lots were still in the treasurer’s possession. It was stated 
that the amount of these unpaid notes plus unsold lots valued at $5,858 
would make up about $10,000, which remained to be invested in the 
endowment fund. An examination of the records in the office of the 
Recorder of Deeds made in 1910 showed that from 1839 to that time 170 
out of the 1 80 lots originally granted had been sold for a total considera- 
tion of $7o,822.93. 16 

In the early financial history of the College, the agent played an im- 
portant role. Luther Rice had been treasurer and agent. Because of the 
serious difficulties brought about by this dual role, the two offices were 
generally held by different individuals after Rice’s time. There was a 
period following the difficulties in 1826 when several agents were com- 
missioned to raise funds; but this changed gradually, and there was a 


Bricks Without Straw 

single agent. In the 1840’s and 1850’s this office became a very powerful 
one, for not only did the agent raise funds but he also supervised their 
expenditure. Two of the most important agents during the period were 
the Reverend A. M. Poindexter of Virginia and the Reverend W. F. 
Broaddus of Kentucky. 

Appointed on August 29, 1845, Poindexter was given the task of raising 
$50,000 as a permanent endowment, an amount considered adequate to 
produce an income which would close the gap between expenses and 
income. When he resigned two and a half years later he reported that he 
had raised $25,413.30 in cash and pledges. Something more than half of 
this amount was in the form of unpaid subscriptions, $3,003.24 of which 
was collected by his successor. In attempting to collect these unpaid 
notes the new agent often heard the excuse that the subscriptions were 
not to be due until the whole $50,000 had been pledged. In a letter on 
October 13, 1852, Poindexter denied that he had ever made such an ar- 
rangement. 17 

Poindexter’s successor, after a four-year interval, was the Reverend W. 
F. Broaddus, whose activities were devoted to raising a $40,000 endow- 
ment fund. This amount was determined by the offer, in 1852, of John 
Withers of Alexandria to give $20,000 to the endowment if matched by 
an equal sum from other sources by the end of the year. Broaddus reported 
to the Board on May 12, 1853, that he had secured $20,000.06, thus match- 
ing Withers’ offer. 18 

John Withers (1776-1861), a native of Alexandria, was the most gener- 
ous of the early benefactors of the College. A Trustee from 1832 until his 
death, it would appear from the records that he never failed to respond 
to an appeal for funds. His conditional offer of $20,000 came at a critical 
time for the College. President Bacon, overwhelmed by the College’s 
difficulties, had offered his resignation. Withers’ action was a prime factor 
in causing the president, at the Board’s request, to withdraw his resigna- 
tion. When Broaddus reported to the Board on May 12, 1853, that Withers’ 
offer had been matched, the time allowed had been exceeded, but Withers 
paid as he had undertaken. This was but one of his major gifts. At one 
time, when because of financial embarrassment he could not pay a sub- 
scription when called upon, he paid the interest to the College until he 
was able to pay the principal. While it is impossible to state the exact total 
of the gifts he made to cancel debts, repair buildings, and increase the 
endowment, the amount would seem to aggregate almost $70,000. 

Financial Recovery, 1828-1859 8 7 

(Withers was one of the few persons buried at College Hill. His remains 
were reinterred in the University lot at Oak Hill Cemetery, Georgetown, 
in 1884. The grave is marked by a large granite obelisk. 19 ) 

The College during these trying years had no more constant friend 
than John Quincy Adams. Withers was its principal giver, but Adams 
was its principal creditor. From the time he contributed $25 to the fund 
for the purchase of the lot until his death almost thirty years later, he 
gave generously of his means, his advice, and his presence. Judge Wil- 
liam Cranch, the first Professor of Law, the father of three graduates of 
the College and the father-in-law of another, was his first cousin. During 
Adams’ long residence in Washington he attended Commencements and 
public exercises of the College with great regularity. He was a friend and 
adviser of President Chapin, although they did not see eye to eye on the 
Smithson bequest. 

In 1824 and 1825 Adams loaned the College about $13,000 which with 
later loans and interest brought the total of its indebtedness to him up to 
$20,000. This was secured by a mortgage on the College property. 

A deed recorded June 6, 1829, stated that Adams was the holder of 
four certificates of stock representing $3,500 in the aggregate and equal 
therefore to 35 shares in the loans to the College. In addition, it stated 
that Adams held a bond for $7,500 with interest and another for $2,050, 
making a total indebtedness on the part of the College of $16,912.50. To 
this was added a debt of $642.50 to Mrs. Adams which her husband had 
assumed, making a grand total of $17,555. Adams consented to discount 
this loan at 32 per cent if given “security for the eventual payment of 
the residue with lawful interest thereon.” In the light of these facts, the 
College conveyed to Adams all of its land, its buildings and their con- 
tents, with the agreement that if the College paid $11,410.75 on or be- 
fore June 1, 1830, together with interest, the deed would become void, and 
the evidences of the College’s indebtedness would be surrendered. Until 
default, the College was given the right to occupy and use the premises. 20 

While the College was thus indebted to Adams, the Smithson bequest 
netting $508,3 18.49 came into the possession of the United States Treasury. 
The question to be determined then was how should this money be used 
to increase and diffuse knowledge among men? Should a university be 
established? Adams was deeply interested, and President Chapin went to 
him in some alarm. If the money were used to set up a college or univer- 
sity, Chapin felt that Columbian College would be destroyed. Adams set 


Bricks Without Straw 

his fears at rest by telling him that he did not believe the Smithsonian 
Institution would be a college or a university, “but altogether of a 
different character.” He had in mind a research institution. When the 
increasing needs of the College for immediate relief became more pressing, 
President Chapin changed his position and inquired of Adams hopefully 
if the College could get any aid from the Smithson Fund. Adams had not 
changed his position. “And as the principal debt of the Columbian Col- 
lege is to me, I can be instrumental to no arrangement which would 
result in the payment of the College debt from the Smithson Fund.” Adams 
could not be moved. The new Institution took on the form that he had in 
mind. 21 

The inability to pay Adams or even at times to pay interest when due 
was a source of particular embarrassment to the College. At each interest 
period herculean efforts, often without success, were made to pay Adams 
the sum due. On some occasions, a well-timed gift from Nicholas Brown 
of Providence saved the College embarrassment on this score. On October 
20, 1837, Adams wrote George Wood, the Treasurer, regretting the 
necessity which compelled him to require payment of the interest due 
the preceding June 1, amounting to 1684.64. The request did not procure 
results at the time, because a year later Adams wrote again. On June 13, 

1838, the treasurer was ordered to give him a note for $1,369.38 for two 
years’ interest on the debt up to the first of that month. On January 23, 

1839, it was reported that the debts of the College amounted to $30,086.47, 
of which $13,227.27 was owed Adams. By October 12, 1840, the debt 
had been reduced to $11,581.74, but six months later it was up to $12,- 
038.29. The treasurer was then directed to pay Adams $684.65, the interest 
due for the year, and $300 on account of the principal. Adams’ request to 
be paid in specie led to the adoption of a resolution that read: 

Resolved, that the Board appreciate the kindness and liberality which Mr. 
Adams has constandy exhibited toward the College, as well as the lenient 
course he has pursued, as its principal creditor, in the long indulgence which 
he has granted, and that the Board fully admit the justice of his demands 
to receive the money to be paid him in the lawful currency: but in con- 
sideration of the fact that the funds which have been received for payment 
of the debt are not of that character and that the other creditors whose 
course in most cases has been equally kind and lenient, have been paid in 
paper, the Board hope that Mr. Adams when informed of the great difficulty 
which has been experienced in obtaining such funds as we have, will waive 
his request to be paid in specie and receive such funds as we have paid the 
other creditors. 

8 P 

Financial Recovery, 1828-1859 

On March 5, 1842, Adams signed the following receipt: 

Received of Andrew Rothwell Treasurer of the Columbian College eight 
thousand seven hundred and ninety-six 23/100 dollars in full of the amount 
due me on the mortgage of the College property including interest. 


J. Q. Adams 22 

Adams along with many of his fellow creditors had accepted a settlement 
at approximately 60 cents on the dollar. 

No formal deed of release was recorded until June 4, 1859. Then 
Charles Francis Adams and other heirs of John Quincy Adams, after 
stating the original size of the debt, “from time to time enlarged and 
extended,” declared that the $8,796.23 was accepted by Adams on March 
5, 1842, “in full of the aforesaid debt including interest due him” and 
that they therefore reconveyed the property to the College. 23 

At the state funeral of John Quincy Adams on February 25, 1848, in 
the civic procession from the Capitol to the Congressional Cemetery 
marched the faculty and student body of Columbian College. 

In trying to develop a solid financial basis during these critical years, 
the Trustees had used every device that ingenuity could suggest. They 
persuaded the Triennial Convention to ignore its mandate of 1826 and 
resume the nomination of Trustees. What tangible results this produced 
is problematical, although the convention, as it was about to pass out of 
existence, did give the College the College Hill property in fee simple. 
The Trustees memorialized the Congress incessantly and received $25,000 
in city lots and the relinquishment of a claim for $30,000. As major finan- 
cial achievements, they were able to complete the $50,000 fund in 1828 
and to match John Withers’ gift of $20,000 in 1853. They sought, but 
rarely ever with complete success, funds for professorships, the presidency, 
repairs, and new construction. There was a sad lack of donors on the scale 
of John Withers and John Quincy Adams. At significant points the 
Trustees achieved freedom from debt, but never security for the future. 
In 1859, the year of President Samson’s election, the assets of the College 
were rated at $151,095. 


Qrowth and Operation 
of the Qollege 

T he Columbian Register for May 3, 1828, carried an official notice 
under the heading “Columbian College” which began: “The Trus- 
tees of this institution have the pleasure of announcing to the public 
that the course of instruction will be recommenced on the 14th day 
of the present month. Through the liberality of its creditors and the 
determined and generous efforts of its friends, the College will now 
go forward in its career of usefulness.” The first session was to be a 
short one, three months in length, with instruction given by Professor 
Ruggles and Tutor Boulware of the class of 1826. Then after a month’s 
vacation, on September 10, a standard session of two terms was to begin, 
with President Chapin joining Professor Ruggles and Mr. Boulware 
in giving instruction. 

The Reverend Stephen Chapin (1778-1845), a graduate of Harvard, 
assumed his office as President of the College and Professor of Moral 
and Intellectual Philosophy, and Belles-Lettres, shortly after the re- 
sumption of instruction. He had been a Congregational clergyman and, 
like Luther Rice, entered the Baptist ministry. After serving as a pastor 
for a brief period, he became Professor of Theology in Waterville (now 
Colby) College, remaining there until he came to Columbian in 1828. 
The Trustees of Waterville College in accepting his resignation were 
pained by the thought that they “must give up to distant strangers, a 
man who has done the highest honor to the station that he has filled, been 
a common and sincere friend to the pupils under his charge, and who has 
sustained the rank of one no less distinguished as a philanthropist, than 



Growth and Operation of the College, 1828-1859 

beloved and admired as a divine.” It was “a pleasing thought” that “the 
rising generation of the South may profit by the instruction of the ripest 
of scholars, and the example of the best of men.” 1 
The Washington Chronicle on July 12, 1828, called him “one of the 
first men of our nation in point of piety and literary attainments.” 

The second session after the resumption of instruction included a 
first term from the second Wednesday of September, 1828, to the third 
Wednesday of December, with the longer second term running from 
the second Wednesday of January to the second Wednesday of July, 

1829. The charges for the three-month term were: 

Admission fee, payable once $ 10.00 

Tuition in the College Classes 20.00 

Tuition in the Preparatory School 12.00 

Library, room, furniture, and bed 8.00 

Table, washing, fuel, lights, and servants, per week 3.00 

Nonboarders paid a total fee of $29.50 in the College and $21.50 in the 
Preparatory School. 

The charges for the six-month term were: 

Tuition in the College classes $30.00 

Library, room, furniture, and bed 18.00 

Table, washing, fuel, lights, and servants, per week 3.00 

Nonboarders paid total fees of $47.50 in the College and $27.50 in the 
Preparatory School. 

It was pointed out that the total charge for tuition, board, etc., not 
including books and stationery, would not exceed $200 for the year. 2 

When the students returned after their “vacation,” they found the 
physical appearance of the College substantially unchanged. The new 
building which had been authorized four years before, to be located 
west of the College building and to be similar to it in size and appearance, 
was still far from completion. In fact, the gaunt walls of the West Wing 
apparently stood as sad evidence of too ambitious planning until 1842, 
when the material in them was sold for $300 and the proceeds used for 
improving the appearance of the College building. 3 

The curriculum was virtually unchanged when instruction was resumed, 
although in 1827 a system of gymnastic exercises was introduced, the 
expense not to exceed $200 per annum. Just what the system included 
and what equipment was used are not disclosed. In fact, we have to wait 
for light on this subject, and shall perhaps wait in vain. It is not until 


Bricks Without Straw 

i860 that we hear about a gymnasium. In that year President Samson 
announced the erection of a gymnasium, “the College erecting the shed 
and the students fitting up the interior.” 4 

The growth of the faculty in size was slow, and of salaries even 
slower. In 1841, thirteen years after the resumption of instruction in 
the College, the situation seemed unchanged. The Committee on the 
State of the College, reporting to the Board, stated that expenditures 
for the year were $3,550, as against $1,375 received from students. These 
expenditures were salaries for President Chapin, $1,300; Professor Ruggles, 
$1,375; Tutor Chaplin, $675; and other expenses, $200. To make these 
very modest sums more realistic, it should be borne in mind that the 
receipts mentioned were those for tuition only. The steward collected 
charges for rooms, food, and personal services from the students; and 
the net over and above his expenses was his salary. The president and 
the faculty were provided with living quarters according to their rank, 
in addition to their salaries. The president was also assigned a few acres 
for raising vegetables for his own use, and the steward was permitted 
to cultivate for his own profit areas in the College property not otherwise 
reserved. Viewing this small faculty as the irreducible minimum, the 
College had struggled on until its whole accumulated debt was discharged 
in 1 842.® 

In light of the small income received from tuition, it was astounding 
that so much free instruction was given to young men preparing for the 
ministry. It was poor financial policy for an impoverished institution, 
but a magnificent display of Christian charity. A report presented to the 
Trustees in 1847 showed the value of the instruction given candidates 
for the ministry during the six preceding years as $4,013. In addition to 
this, $907 worth of tuition was given under the system of $100 rights, and 
$192.70 of tuition to two others, basis not stated. In other words, $5,112.70 
was given away in tuition for which current fees were not paid. 6 

That in spite of its ups and downs the College was held in high esteem 
was shown by a request from the faculty of the Hamilton Literary and 
Theological Institution (now Colgate University) in July, 1844, that the 
Trustees and faculty of Columbian College confer upon regular graduates 
of the Hamilton Institution the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Master 
of Arts on satisfactory certificate from the faculty of the Institution on 
the completion of the required course and worthiness “in other respects, 
the Institution to pay the graduation fee and other expenses.” The request 
was granted, and in two years the College conferred forty-five Bachelor’s 

Growth and Operation of the College, 1828-1851) 55 

degrees and one or maybe two Master’s degrees for the Institution. 
When, on March 26, 1846, the New York Legislature granted a college 
charter to the Collegiate Department of the Institution, it was no longer 
necessary to use Columbian’s degree-granting power. 7 

The years of President Chapin’s administration (1828-1841) had been 
years of retrenchment marked by a sturdy resolve to free the College 
from its accumulated debt. This one aim was pushed with strict singleness 
of purpose. As has been suggested, long-range objectives were for the 
time ignored. Educationally the College, at best, stood still. When in the 
year following Chapin’s resignation the Board was able to discharge its 
debts, attention began to be given to the improvement of teaching and 
to the improvement of the College and its grounds. 

A building for the use of the Preparatory School was erected on a 
lot belonging to the College at Fourteenth and N Streets. The structure 
was of brick, 25 by 30 feet, and two stories in height. The School had 
had a checkered career, as shown by the fact that in the first twenty-six 
years of its existence (1822-1848) it had no less than seventeen principals, 
eleven of them serving for a single year or less. Steps were taken in 
1848 toward a permanent engagement with Zalmon Richards, who 
unfortunately served for only two years (1849-1851). He was to achieve 
distinction in the world of education as Superintendent of Schools of 
the District of Columbia and first president of the National Education 
Association. In the year of Richards’ resignation, the Preparatory School 
property was sold for $2,500. After an interval of two years, George S. 
Bacon was appointed to take charge of the school. At a cost of $730 
the roof of the building housing the philosophical equipment was raised 
to form a second floor, and provision for the Preparatory School was 
made in the remodeled building. So as not to involve the Board in any 
liability, the teacher was paid from the fees of the pupils. In 1859 the Board 
ordered that the studies of the Preparatory School be arranged in a 
three-year course and that this curriculum be published in the College 
catalogue. Preparatory School students taking subjects in the College paid 
an additional $5 per course, but not over $10 in any case. The obvious 
need for such a school in the District had prompted the Board to recom- 
mend to the Trustees of the Public Schools of the City of Washington 
that they send a few of the advanced pupils to pursue their studies 
at College Hill, the expenses to be paid out of the School Fund. 8 

In the final years of President Joel Smith Bacon’s administration there 
was renewed evidence of a determination toward improvement in the 


Bricks Without Straw 

College’s program and equipment. There was constant demand for an 
increase in the number of faculty as essential to further success and 
growth. On October 13, 1852, a communication from the faculty insisting 
upon the need for two new professors “present and teaching” was laid 
before the Board. Because of the 31 students enrolled, 20 of them new, 
an additional tutor was necessary. Anxious to raise standards, more 
thorough and extended examinations were called for at the end of each 
term, with a special committee being brought in to attend the examin- 
ations. The faculty took favorable notice of improvements in the outside 
appearance of the buildings and grounds but was very critical of the 
badly used and unattractive furniture, which they asked be replaced at 
once by new, “tastier” furnishings. They recommended a complete 
revision of the College bylaws. The Board authorized the sale of two 
Eleventh Street lots for not less than $3,200 to provide funds to be 
disbursed under the Trustees’ direction. The lots actually brought 

Over a six-month period the faculty sent up additional recommendations 
of considerable importance. The scientific course was to be separated more 
distinctly from the classical course and put in a regular department with 
English and mathematical studies. The course was to embrace three years 
and offer its own specific degree. In this course mathematics was to be 
extended to include engineering, and work in the natural sciences was 
to be increased. The degree of Master of Arts “in course” was no longer 
to be given on the basis of an accumulation of courses beyond the 
requirement of the Bachelor’s degree, but was to be awarded on the 
basis of a well-sustained examination on a definite course of study. 

In its report to the Board on June 2, 1853, the Committee on Library 
and Apparatus was critically constructive. The library contained 6,000 
volumes, most of them on theological subjects and for the most part 
the result of chance donations. It was not adequate for the use of the 
professors in preparing their lectures, and their modest salaries would 
not permit the purchase of these scholarly materials at their own expense. 
The students procured books for their own use. Particularly lacking in 
the library were books of reference and classical authors in critical 
editions. Treatises on branches of science were totally wanting. Also 
needed were histories of literature, English classics, and the best works 
in history, ancient and modern. In other words, it appeared that the 
library lacked everything. It was recommended that a beginning be 
made with small appropriations. A fortunately timed gift of $75 from 


Growth and Operation of the College, 1828-1859 

Isaac Davis, distinguished Massachusetts statesman, founder of the Davis 
Prizes in Public Speaking and friend of Luther Rice, was immediately 
assigned for the purchase of books. The library, the Committee reported, 
was housed in two small, pleasant rooms, the ones that had been assigned 
to it when the College building was erected. More room was now needed; 
the library should be reorganized, and a catalogue prepared. 

The apparatus on hand was mostly for mathematical and natural 
philosophy. The equipment was of superior quality and in good condition, 
but more attention was required to the needs of chemistry, geology, 
and botany. 

Considering the various suggestions made, a committee on rearranging 
the studies made four specific recommendations: that the faculty prepare 
a schedule for a three-year scientific course of study leading to the degree 
of Bachelor of Philosophy, that a new professor be appointed in the 
Department of Natural Sciences, that a definite grade of attainment 
be set for the degree of Master of Arts, and that examining committees 
in the several branches be appointed to attend the College examinations. 
The first Ph.B.’s, five in number, were conferred in 1854. A change was 
made in the College calendar so that, instead of splitting the session in 
two unequal parts, a single session was fixed to run from the last Wednes- 
day in September to the last Wednesday in June. 

Never before in the institution’s history had such interest and concern 
been manifested in educational organization. 9 

In their efforts to bring about these improvements, the Trustees and 
faculty had, for the first time, the organized support and encouragement 
of the alumni. The Alumni Association of Columbian College was formed 
at a meeting of twenty-seven graduates on July 14, 1847. Six years before, 
on April 18, 1841, a meeting of alumni had been held in Baltimore. At 
that critical time they expressed full confidence in the institution, then 
in the final throes of its successful effort to remove its indebtedness. 
They emphasized the need to raise a fund to support a professorship in 
the College. Each of those present took the responsibility for raising 
his share of the fund, and the Board was asked to provide an agent to 
collect the pledges. Robert Ryland of the class of 1826, later president of 
Richmond College, was the chairman of the group. It was at their request, 
in October, 1852, that Thomas S. Brackenridge of the class of 1825, who 
had already won distinction as a landscape architect, prepared a com- 
prehensive plan for the improvement of the grounds of the College 
and proceeded with the work. 10 

Bricks Without Straw 


One important change was made in the governance of the College. 
As stated in the preceding chapter, the Trustees had prevailed upon the 
Triennial Convention to continue the practice of presenting to the 
subscribers to the College a list of nominees to be voted on for election 
to the College Board of Trustees. But as Andrew Rothwell, on behalf 
of a Trustees’ committee, reported to the Board on April 22, 1847: 
“After the last and final meeting of that body [the Triennial Convention] 
in the city of New York in May last, it was by formal resolution seperated 
[sic] and dissolved, its constituents now forming too [sic] seperate 
[sic] bodies.” The Trustees had therefore to review the machinery of 
election to the Board. After examining the Charter and Ordinances, the 
committee recommended that no change be made in the Ordinances inas- 
much as none was necessary, since the existing requirements would be 
met in full if the Board would set up a list of subscribers entitled to vote. 
Individual contributors could not vote except as representatives of 
associated (i.e., Baptist) bodies contributing to the funds of the College, 
one vote being allowed for each $30 contributed. By adopting these 
recommendations, the denominational relation was retained, but the 
convention was no longer in existence to serve as the nominating body. 11 

In the effort to improve the appearance of the grounds and to increase 
the facilities, the entire property was enclosed by a wooden fence almost 
a mile in length; a gravel walk was laid from the College building to the 
boundary (now Florida Avenue); a steward’s house was built; and the 
roof on the College Building was raised to gain an additional full floor. 

The steward’s house was erected in 1855, north of the professors’ houses 
and west of the College. The main building was three stories in height, 
with a back building of two stories. The main house was 40 feet deep 
with a frontage of 28 feet, the back building 30 feet deep and 16 feet 
wide. The lower floor, supported by pillars, was used as a dining hall; the 
second floor, as quarters for the steward’s family. Five rooms on the third 
floor were used for boarders. The cost of $3,850 was paid in installments 
on the builder’s demand as various stages in the construction were 
reached. The money, characteristically enough, was taken from uninvested 
endowment funds, to be repaid with interest as soon as possible. 

Five years later, in i860, when the College had a record enrollment of 
71 students and the Preparatory School 65, further expansion was under- 
taken at a cost of about $10,000, raised by subscription. A new roof 
was built on the College building and raised so as to make the attic, 
formerly only a half -floor lighted by dormer windows, a full story. A 


Growth and Operation of the College, 1828-1859 

new addition of three stories, 40 by 18 feet, was made to the steward’s 
house, and provision was made for heating the public buildings of the 
College by steam. At the same time the gymnasium was being erected. 12 

These changes and additions were made against a background of grow- 
ing concern as to the desirability of selling some or maybe all of the 
institution’s holdings on College Hill. When money was needed for the 
building of the steward’s house in 1855, a committee of the Board was 
directed “to look into the expediency of marking off a portion of the 
College grounds, to be arranged into lots and sold by the square foot 
for residences under restricted conditions of improvement to aid the 
College finances.” For the time no action was taken. 13 

Four years later, in 1859, a Trustees’ committee was appointed to con- 
sider the removal of the College to the city and the discontinuance of 
the dormitory system and of the Steward’s Department — in other words, 
to cease being a residential college. Inasmuch as each year the College 
seemed to be falling short by $1,800, it was figured that an additional 
endowment of $30,000 was needed to close the gap. Therefore, the Board 
looked with favor on selling the southern portion of the College land, 
the part immediately adjacent to the city, for an asking sum of $30,000 
but with a minimum of $25,000 in mind. This was an area of 21 acres, 
south of the College Lawn. They did not favor general subdivision because 
of the cost of grading and culverting. They authorized the sale of city 
lots, including some of the Congressional grant of 1832. After full con- 
sideration, however, the Board decided that it was inexpedient to move 
the College to the city and that for the time the dormitory system and 
the Steward’s Department would be continued. 14 

While the question of moving to the city and selling ground on 
College Hill was motivated largely by financial considerations, there 
was also a desire to avoid the grief as well as the expenses incurred by 
boarding students. Student protest against the Steward’s Department, 
its service, and its food was frequent and insistent. Life would be 
happy freed of this nuisance, with generous funds in hand from the 
sale of land and attention limited to the business of instruction. Investiga- 
tion showed, however, that Washington of the 1850’s could not absorb 
in its limited housing such a student body or insure the likelihood of 
proper feeding. 

Stewards took their position at their own risk and expense, and their 
income was derived from the profits made on the operation. Initial 
agreements, incident to a steward’s appointment, were designed to keep 

Bricks Without Straw 


him from cutting too many corners and to insure the students a sound 
basic diet at a fixed rate. 

Stephen Prentiss, who was appointed steward in 1859, was required 
to maintain a neat and orderly table at which he himself should preside, 
unless in the president’s judgment he was needed elsewhere. A suitable 
number of civil and capable servants were to be available. Meals had 
to be ready punctually at the hour fixed by the faculty. The steward 
was required to report students guilty of waste or any impropriety for 
discipline, “but in no case shall such charge depend merely upon servant’s 
testimony.” Two grades were provided, a “best table” to cost no more 
than $3 per week and a “cheap table” to cost no more than $2 per week. 
Students at the cheap table were to wait on themselves after provisions 
had been placed on the table. 

The bill of fare for the best table provided for: 

Breakfast: Fish or cold meat, warm rolls and cold loaf of bread, warm corn 
bread, tea and coffee, white sugar for tea, brown sugar for coffee, butter, 

Dinner: Soup, roast fresh meat of two kinds or one kind of roast with ham 
or boiled meat cold, Irish potatoes and rice, sweet potatoes and other vegetables 
in their season, provided that there could always be at least two kinds on 
the table, corn bread, a sufficient supply of all seasonings, a dessert twice a 
week of pies, puddings, or some equivalent; 

Supper: The same as breakfast except meats and molasses and occasionally 
warm bread. 

The bill of fare for the cheap table included: 

Breakfast: Warm corn bread and cold wheat bread, butter; 

Dinner: One kind of meat, fresh meat twice a week, vegetables, one kind 
of potatoes and rice, molasses, bread; 

Supper: Cold bread, crackers twice a week, molasses or butter. 

The steward was allowed to charge for laundry, such as a towel, a sheet, 
a pillow case, 50 cents per dozen. 15 

In its circulars, the College had always emphasized the healthfulness 
of its location and its unfailing supply of good water. There is little 
record of serious illness. During an epidemic of cholera in the city in 
1832, The Globe reported: “Not a single case has occurred at this 
College. Indeed, no spot in the Union surpasses it in healthfulness.” 16 
There is a record of a single threat to the salubrity of the College 


Growth and Operation of the College, 1828-185!) 

before the War of 1861-1865. the Trustees’ meeting of October 10, 
1855, the president spoke of a noisome stench which contaminated the 
atmosphere and apparently had resulted in some cases of illness at College 
Hill. A letter from William J. Stone, a neighbor, which was read to 
the Board went into particulars. The noxious effects which had been 
felt had their origin in two large buildings, one of them 450 yards east 
of College Hill, where the city’s detritus was gathered, preliminary to 
final disposal. Mr. Stone (whose property happened to be located between 
College Hill and the nearer of the two buildings) asked the College to 
urge the Board of Public Health to take measures to insure professors 
and students (and Mr. Stone?) “the universal right of pure air to breathe.” 
The authorities apparently took effective measures to abate or eliminate 
the nuisance, since there is no further mention of this threat to the 
College’s claim of a salubrious location. 17 

Student conduct was generally satisfactory. Discipline was strict, and 
the rules laid down in the original bylaws were strenuously enforced. 
Then, as now, expulsion required action by the Trustees on the recom- 
mendation of the faculty. The concurrence of the Board appears to have 
been automatic. The number expelled does not seem excessive. Mention 
of student behavior in the press is generally laudatory in the formal 
expression of the times. The Washington News of October 14, 1848, went 
beyond the usual bounds of enthusiasm in its praise when it stated: 

The students of Columbian College, we are satisfied (and we have excellent 
opportunities of judging), will compare advantageously with those of any 
other college both in mental culture and moral deportment. We have heard 
of no outbreaks among them nor sprees, nor skylarking, which are ever and 
anon occurring in other similar institutions. The young gentlemen seem 
deeply impressed with a proper sense of self-respect, and whenever they 
visit the city, they conduct themselves with the utmost propriety, in all 
respects as become gendemen. We venture to assert that none of the last 
year’s class was ever seen in any improper place, or indulging in any 
unbecoming deportment; and we trust and believe, that the class of the 
scholastic year that has just commenced, will sustain the high and exemplary 
character of its predecessor . 18 

Whether, in making his evaluation, the writer in the News was aware 
of the Arnold case which had occurred the year before is not known, 
nor is it known what moral judgment he would have placed on Arnold’s 
activity. From the tenor of a letter to the Reverend Baron Stow, a grad- 
uate of the College, a one-time Trustee and then an influential minister 


Bricks Without Straw 

in Boston, it would seem that there had been considerable discussion of 
the matter in New England. President Bacon in his letter to Stow 
stated emphatically: 

We have published nothing from the faculty. I have been extremely reluctant 
to do so. I disapprove wholly of the policy of bringing private matters such 
as is usually the discipline of colleges, schools and families or other domestic 
relations, unnecessarily before the public. They can rarely judge of them 
fairly or impartially. Bad feelings and party spirit are awakened, or per- 
petuated and much oftener I think injury, than good is done, to all concerned. 

To S. S. Arnold of Boston, the brother of the student concerned, Presi- 
dent Bacon had written that the faculty, because of the nature of the 
case, had required Arnold’s separation from College, not by an open 
expulsion but by immediate removal. On March i, 1847, the Board of 
Trustees sanctioned the action of the faculty in requiring Henry J. 
Arnold, because of misdemeanors, to leave the College. No details are 
given in the Board’s Minutes.™ 

The facts as set forth in letters by President Bacon were these. Captain 
Haynes, “a gentleman of wealth and standing came from Va. to take 
charge of the stewardship of the coll, with the laudable purpose of 
aiding it by his means, his influence, and his labors, bringing a number of 
his servants [slaves] with him.” Two of Haynes’ best servants, “either 
of their own accord or instigated by others, planned to gain their 
freedom” by taking advantage of some supposed informality in the mode 
of their introduction into the District. After they had begun to plan, 
these two slaves made known their intention to the student, Henry J. 
Arnold, who “seems to have entered, with a great deal of zeal and 
earnestness into their plan, and to have offered them aid and encourage- 
ment, and to have solicited others, northern young men, to join him in 
it, clandestinely of course.” Only one other student consented to join 
him, and he later withdrew, leaving Arnold to act alone, against the 
urgent advice of his friends. Arnold furnished one of the servants with 
money and a note, said to be directed to a lawyer but lacking name and 
address. Suddenly the plot was discovered, and the servants were sent 
to Virginia. The slave Abram who had been aided by Arnold gave the 
student’s name as “his aider and abetter, exhibiting the note he had written 
and the money he had given him.” 

This caused strong and indignant feelings against Arnold and created 
great excitement, requiring all the skill and authority of the faculty to 

Growth and Operation of the College, 1828-18 $9 101 

control lest there be an outbreak of violence. Under these circumstances 
the faculty sent Arnold away, and the Board confirmed their action. 

Arnold, excluded from Columbian, applied for admission to Waterville 
College. In a letter to President Bacon, President D. N. Sheldon of 
Waterville wrote that Arnold had explained some of the circumstances 
of his exclusion, but was told that he would not be admitted without a 
certificate of honorable dismissal unless President Bacon would give him 
a letter saying that, in his judgment, there was “no valid reason founded 
on his conduct while a member of Columbian College, why he should 
not be received into a college in New England.” Arnold had repeated 
his request for admission to Waterville without the required letter. On 
behalf of the faculty, President Sheldon asked to be informed whether 
Bacon could give the statement and whether Arnold had violated any 
college law. 

President Bacon’s letter of May 8, 1847, lacked nothing by way of 
directness. He refused to give the letter. 

... on the contrary, it is our decided opinion that the course of conduct 
which he pursued and the principles of action he assumed would have 
justified and procured his removal from any college, or other institution, or 
from any well regulated family in the land. ... In reference to the infraction 
of college laws, his conduct was a flagrant violation of all the laws (and we 
have several such), which require in a student integrity of character, 
correctness of deportment, a due regard to the rights and interests of others, 
and fidelity to his duties and obligations as a student; and it was for this he 
was removed from the College. 20 

New problems were arising. 

President Bacon’s administration (1843-1854) was an eventful one. He 
had tried with considerable success to achieve greater financial stability, 
to increase the faculty, to raise standards of instruction, and to improve 
and increase the College’s facilities. 

His successor was the Reverend Joseph Getchell Binney (1807-1877), 
a native of Boston, educated at Yale and Newton Seminary. His great 
dedication was to missionary work among the Karens. He held a brief 
pastorate at Elmira, New York, and his three years as president of 
Columbian College were an interlude. He accepted the presidency on 
the basis of a three-year tenure (1855-1858) and then resumed his activity 
in the foreign missions field. The records during his administration 
indicate great activity on the part of the Reverend George Whitefield 
Samson, a Trustee who seemed to serve as the intermediary between 


Bricks Without Straw 

the Trustees and the faculty. “The College,” said President Binney in his 
letter of resignation, “has nothing to fear in the future with an efficient 
administration. I should be perfectly willing to trust my reputation on 
its prosperity.” 21 

His confidence seemed to be justified when President Samson, in his 
annual report for i860, two years after Binney’s resignation, reported a 
College enrollment of 71 students, a Preparatory School enrollment of 
65, and, anno mirabilis, an excess of about $1,000 of income over outlay 
for the year. 22 

Things, apparently, had never looked brighter. 



The College and the 
^Medical College 

T he mortality rate of colleges founded before the War of 1861-1865 
was generally very high. While the average rate in New England 
was low, a study of colleges in sixteen states outside that area showed 
the amazing mortality rate of 81 per cent. 1 

That Columbian College had survived seemed little less than prov- 
idential. Aside from serious problems within its own constituency, it was 
living in a vexatious and uncertain time, when an immature economy 
was indulging in quixotic behavior. Without any backlog of endowment, 
the College had constantly to struggle to fill the gap between income 
and expenditure. It could only look to its friends for donations and hope 
for increasing registrations that would bolster income from tuition. 
Unfortunately the same factors which made funds hard to obtain limited 
the enrollment of full-pay students and increased the demands by bene- 
ficiaries who could not pay. 

When funds to get the College under way were being solicited, the 
country was still suffering acutely from the effects of the Panic of 1819. 
The high level of prices, inflated progressively by the Napoleonic Wars 
and the War of 1812, had sustained tremendous speculation in land. When 
the European demand for foodstuffs and cotton dropped off and con- 
traction among the banks started, the price level of domestic commodities 
slipped. A panic began, causing widespread unemployment, suspension 
of banks, reduction of rents, and a cataclysmic fall in price levels. Re- 
covery was hardly achieved when again overexpansion, excessive spec- 


Bricks Without Straw 

ulation, and a series of crop failures brought about the suspension of the 
New York banks followed by the suspension of those throughout the 
country, and the Panic of 1837 was on. Recovery from that panic had 
barely begun when the banks, heavily involved in advances to railroads 
and other enterprises which could not at once meet their charges, found 
their assets tied up and began either to close or to take severely restrictive 
measures. In the usual series of chain reactions, the economy came to a 
standstill, causing the Panic of 1857. This chapter of economic woe was 
the background of the College’s effort to find substantial donors. 

Of these national problems, first panics, then slavery, became more 
and more insistent. The slavery issue had grown right along with the 
College. The debates over the Charter were interlarded with discussions 
of the Missouri Compromise. The familiar landmarks of the great con- 
troversy as it moved out of the hands of the abolitionists and into the 
hands of the politicians during the first forty years of the College’s 
life show the rising tempo of the issue’s move toward “the irrepressible 
conflict”: the founding of the abolitionist movement, the organization 
of the Underground Railroad, the gag resolutions against antislavery 
petitions, the debate over the Wilmot Proviso, tire Compromise of 1850, 
the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the Dred Scott Decision, the Lincoln-Douglas 
Debates, John Brown’s Raid, and the election of Lincoln. 

Situated in the Federal District, a location which its sponsors, both 
political and religious, thought would forever guarantee it a national 
character, the College seemed nevertheless to be drawn irresistibly toward 
a southern orientation. As his career developed, Luther Rice, born and 
educated in New England, turned more and more toward the South as 
the theater of his activities and the center of his affection. True it is that 
the reasons for this were not all personal with Rice. 

Aside from any ideological interest, the increasing number and attrac- 
tion of colleges in the northern states led more and more of their youth 
to attend colleges in that area. The authorities of Columbian were con- 
scious of what was happening and tried to keep the student body from 
becoming predominantly southern. Notice of an interest in this regard 
found its way into the press, but the trend continued up to the outbreak 
of the War of 1861-1865. 

It would be difficult to comment more emphatically on the desire for 
students from the northern states than was done in the Washington 
News on October 27, 1849: 

Retrospect: The College and the Medical College, 1821-1861 105 

The class is already much larger than at any period during the last year, 
and with the usual increase during the progress of the session, we presume 
long before the next commencement rolls around, every room in the College 
will be occupied. It is therefore time that the friends of the College should 
begin to devise the means for the enlargement of its accommodations, as 
it is now manifest, that it is destined in a very few years, to be one of the 
most popular institutions in the country. The southern portion of the country 
duly appreciates the superior advantages of the College owing to its location 
at the seat of the Government, for most of the students come from that 
section; and we should like to see more young gentlemen from the northern 
states coming among us for the same purpose, as this is common ground, 
belonging to the whole country, and as friendships formed at college are 
generally of the strongest and most enduring character. We regard this 
College as one of the strong links in the chain that will bind the Union 
together, and we cannot therefore, too earnestly call upon our fellow citizens 
of all parts of the country to give the Columbian College a liberal support . 2 

Seeking support for the College, Rice in his day naturally turned 
more and more to the area which was sending students to Columbian. 
During the trying days of 1826-1827, when he was under fire from 
many quarters, Rice developed a very real suspicion of the North’s 
good faith. He felt that his enemies in the new group of Trustees, with 
northern support, were trying either to capture the College or to kill 
it. Rice felt that his backing in the South was solid enough to support 
him to the limit. He could hardly be more emphatic than he was in 
writing to O. B. Brown from Petersburg, Virginia, on September 1, 
1826: “I have only to add — the Star must be taken out of the hands of 
Baron Stow and the Board must cease covering me with some fresh 
expressions of disgrace, unanimously every few days, or I am done, and 
as soon as I strike, depend upon it, you’ll find it difficult to raise funds 
at the South for the College.” 

Writing to Brown a year later, Rice referred to “the faithlessness of 
New England” and the possibility that New York might follow the 
example. He felt that “the reputed perfidy of the North ought to inspire 
caution.” “I am now,” he declared, “disposed to believe it practicable to 
save the College without New England, even without New York, even 
after all the injuries the North has inflicted upon the concern.” 3 

Apparently dependence upon the South was becoming a basis of the 
Board’s policy. In appointing the Reverend Stephen Davis of Georgia 
as its agent in 1841, the Trustees stated: “That entertaining a deep sense 
of the generous liberality of the South, in contributing funds for the 


Bricks Without Straw 

payment of the debts and support of the College in years that are past, 
we do now look to them with high hopes that they will give their wealth 
for its much needed endowment.” The Great Baptist Schism, then but 
a few years off, threw the College into an even greater dependence on 
the South. 4 

The minutes of the various meetings of the Triennial Convention and of 
the Board seem to indicate a desire to eliminate as far as possible divisive 
discussion of the slavery question and its related problems. On May 4, 
1841, the final day of the meeting of the Tenth Triennial Convention 
in Baltimore, it was 

Resolved, that the fervent thanks of this Convention are due to our Heavenly 
Father, that throughout the interesting discussions and transactions of this 
session, He has caused to prevail so large a measure of Christian affection and 
harmony . 5 

At the Twenty-ninth Annual Meeting of the Board of Managers in 
Albany, the Board stated the official attitude. Declaring that it had been 
extensively understood that at the last session of the convention in Balti- 
more “the neutral attitude of the Board in relation to slavery was changed,” 
it ordered reprinted, as being still in force, the circular of the Acting 
Board in the year 1840. The full text therefore appears twice in the 
records of the Board of Managers. 

This “Address of the Board, adopted November 2, 1840,” is a document 
of great significance. Mentioning its concern at the “indications on the 
part of some of their beloved brethren and coadjutors, to withdraw from 
the missionary connection in which they have been happily associated 
for many years,” it pointed to the fact “that for the prosecution of this 
one object the Board of Managers was created; and to this alone (with 
the exception of a temporary, authorized divergence, to Home Missions 
and Education) have the operations of the Board down to the present 
moment been restricted.” From this single object they have refused 
to turn aside or even to indulge in what might have been justifiable 
expression on controverted subjects lest they endanger their sole mission. 
Particularly did they refer to “the continuance of Christian fellowship 
between northern and southern churches.” The subject of slavery was 
clearly irrelevant to the work of Foreign Missions and entirely outside 
the scope of the General Convention. The members of the Board might 
act as individuals, they might act within their churches, “but as a Board 
of the Convention, they can say and do nothing.” 6 


Retrospect: The College and the Medical College, 1821-1861 

A note of alarm that the days of neutrality might be coming to an end 
was sounded at the very beginning of the Thirty-first Annual Meeting 
of the Board in Providence on April 30, 1845. The host church, the First 
Baptist Church in Providence, stated rather ominously in its formal 
letter of greeting: 

We are not unaware of the embarrassments which attend the present meeting 
of the Board, and the important questions which may be brought before them. 
We sympathize in these embarrassments, and we regret the occasion which 
has produced them; and we need not say, it will be especially painful to us, 
should they give rise to any discussions, not marked by Christian forbearance 
and Christian love . 7 

The fears of the First Baptist Church of Providence were to be realized. 
In spite of the strenuous efforts of the Board to suppress controversy, 
numerous Baptist churches had already put themselves on record. The 
American Baptist Anti-Slavery Convention, meeting in New York City 
in 1 840, was especially alarming to the South. The Alabama Baptist Con- 
vention threatened to withhold funds from the Board and from the 
American and Foreign Bible Society unless those agencies repudiated all 
connection with the cause of abolition. If such assurance were not forth- 
coming, a Southern Baptist Board would be formed. The reverse position 
was being taken by northern groups. An emphatic declaration of neutrality 
temporarily restrained the Alabama group from taking action, but the 
last had not been heard from that quarter. The Alabama convention next 
inquired what would be the policy of the Board and the convention in 
making appointments where slaveholding was involved. The Board laid 
down a statement of policy. All members of the denomination in good 
standing, whether in the North or South, were eligible for appointment. 
Contingencies might arise where it would be necessary to make an 
appointment by which the northern brethren of the Christian community 
would become responsible for institutions which they could not con- 
scientiously sanction. In such cases, “we could not desire our brethren 
to violate their conviction of duty by making such appointments” but 
would consider it necessary that they refer the case to the convention. 

The breaking point had been reached. The American Home Missionary 
Society decided in April, 1845, that hereafter its work could be more 
expediently carried on in separate northern and southern groups. In May 
of that year over three hundred delegates from southern churches organ- 
ized the Southern Baptist Convention in Atlanta. Unlike the Triennial 

io 8 Bricks Without Straw 

Convention, it was not a group of autonomous units freely associated 
for foreign missionary activity. It was a strong, well-organized denom- 
inational group carrying out through its own instrumentalities the 
policies and the general work of a large religious body. Luther Rice 
would have approved the type of organization but deplored the schism, 
which brought to an end the Baptist Triennial Convention for Foreign 

A. C. Cole in The Irrepressible Conflict observes: “The sectionalism of 
the fifties, however, bred a demand for greater educational self-suffi- 
ciency.” 9 In the case of Columbian College, circumstances had made it 
a sectional institution. The trend was to go beyond that and to make the 
College almost a local institution. The location of the College, however, 
prevented it from becoming provincial in outlook. Then, as now, many 
Washingtonians came from somewhere else. 

The situation was explained by President Bacon in a paper that he read 
to the Board on June 15, 1852. Six weeks before, he had told the Board 
of his intention to resign. He now offered a formal resignation, which, 
at the Board’s earnest insistence, he withdrew a month later. He served 
for two more years. 

In his statement, the president referred to the period 1843-1850 as an 
encouraging one. The agent, the Reverend A. M. Poindexter, had been 
largely instrumental in raising between $20,000 and $25,000 in cash. At 
the close of 1850, there were 66 students; counting the Preparatory 
School, there were 100. The graduating class of 24 was the largest in the 
history of the College. Then a decline took place, due in part to the fact 
that the faculty was too small to carry on the work but due principally 
to the great changes which were affecting the whole country. As President 
Bacon said: 

It was about at that time [1850] that the fearful political agitation sprang up 
which shook all of our institutions, political, social, and moral, to the very 
foundations. Strong sectional feelings and jealousies were excited — and it was 
perfectly natural under such circumstances, that there should be manifested 
in the several states a strong disposition to foster their own institutions, and 
to concentrate all of their interest and patronage upon them. Pennsylvania 
was then almost completing an endowment of $120,000 for her University. 
North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and other states 
immediately entered upon vigorous efforts to sustain and strengthen their 
own colleges, and to attract toward them all the patronage in their power. The 
effect of these proceedings was immediately felt upon the interests of our 

Retrospect: The College and the Medical College, 1821-1861 top 

College. Several students were withdrawn, and many others were prevented 
from coming who would otherwise have sought their education here. But 
the movement which most seriously affected our present condition was that 
of Virginia in behalf of Richmond College. The friends of that institution 
after several ineffectual efforts to endow it entered upon a course of measures 
which thoroughly aroused the local feeling and interest of the state. Having 
secured the service of our former very efficient Agent, Mr. Poindexter, they 
entered upon the work of endowment and in less than one year have received 
something over $60,000 toward that object. From the state of feeling as 
exhibited at their religious anniversaries in Richmond, one year ago, it was 
manifest they would he able to control, for the present at least, the interest 
and patronage of their state, and as most of our students were, as they always 
have been, from that state, it became evident that the interests of Columbian 
College must suffer greatly, if indeed it would not be wholly prostrated, unless 
some powerful means were adopted for counteracting the influence which 
those movements would naturally and necessarily produce. 10 

He had tried, but found it hard to awaken interest anywhere. “Doubt 
and discouragement seemed to have settled down on all minds.” 

These were very direct words from one of the ablest of Columbian’s 
presidents. They did stimulate marked activity within the College, but 
a great historic force was at work, beyond the control of any group. 11 

Seven years later when President Binney resigned after a brief ad- 
ministration, a Committee on Correspondence for a new President was 
appointed. In reporting to the Trustees on the nature of the problem 
before it on February 3, 1859, the committee very plainly accepted the 
fact that although Columbian had become definitely a southern college 
it had special problems when it stated: “Now whether a college standing 
on Mason and Dixon’s line looking for students chiefly from the Southern 
Border as one does and having such funds as ours has, can sustain itself 
will depend very much on the energy and character, physical, moral, 
intellectual, that we place at its head.” 12 

An individual possessing the necessary qualifications was found close 
at hand in the person of George Whitefield Samson, who entered upon 
the duties of his office July 1, 1859. President Samson was a native of 
Harvard, Massachusetts, and a graduate of Brown and of Newton 
Theological Institution. He was ordained in 1843 in the E Street Baptist 
Church, where he served for a few months as pastor, before undertaking 
a period of study and archeological investigation in the Holy Land. 
Returning to Washington, he again became pastor of the E Street church, 


Bricks Without Straw 

serving until his election as president of Columbian College. Included in 
his congregation were many distinguished statesmen, among them Amos 
Kendall, Sam Houston, and Stephen A. Douglas. 

President Samson’s influence on the great is illustrated by an account 
of his relations with Sam Houston. Dr. Rufus C. Burleson, later the 
president of Baylor University, had converted General Houston in a 
meeting in Independence and baptized him in 1854. The General left 
shortly thereafter to enter upon his duties as Senator in Washington. “I 
could but feel,” wrote Dr. Burleson, “a profound solicitude for a man 
converted so late in life and full of stormy passions, about to engage in 
exciting political discussions so soon after his conversion and baptism.” 
He urged Houston to make Dr. Samson’s acquaintance and to hear him 
preach every Sunday. He also wrote to Dr. Samson “to watch over my 
young and illustrious convert.” Dr. Burleson’s advice was sound. The 
General wrote to his wife: “Tell Bro. Burleson I am safe. God put it into 
the heart of the great Dr. Samson to call on me and invite me to attend 
his church regularly and oh, what a treat it is to hear such a preacher 
every Lord’s day, his sermons fortify my soul against the greatest trials 
I am now called upon to indure.” 

Samson was a preacher of great evangelical warmth and eloquence and 
a scholarly man of many-sided interests. He needed but little briefing for 
his post as president. He had been a Trustee for fourteen years at the 
time of his election and, particularly during the administration of Presi- 
dent Binney, had taken an active and, at times, a dominant role in the 
affairs of the College. In the crucial years that he served as president 
(1859-1871), he was in every way adequate to the grueling demands 
made upon him. 13 

The character of President Samson is shown in an incident which 
occurred in Washington during the War. A Southern Methodist congrega- 
tion had erected a new house of worship and had invited Dr. Samson to 
deliver the sermon of dedication. A newspaper claimed that the church 
had been erected by disloyal citizens and called on the War Department 
to place a flag over the house. When President Samson went to the 
church to preach the sermon, he found that quite an excited crowd of 
church members, military officers, the district attorney, and others had 
assembled. Turning toward the district attorney, he said: “Gentlemen, I 
greatly regret that under existing circumstances, I cannot conscientiously 
take part in the services proposed.” The members of the congregation, 
fearing that otherwise they would be liable to arrest, urged Dr. Samson to 


Retrospect: The College and the Medical College, 1821-1861 

proceed. After some consultation, he said to the crowd: “Brethren and 
friends, I wish every one present to understand that I alone am re- 
sponsible for deferring the service of dedication, and I will give my 
reasons at once to the Secretary of War. On next Sunday, if circumstances 
justify, the dedication will take place.” He immediately wrote a note and 
sent it to Secretary Stanton. In it he informed the Secretary that he had 
declined to conduct the service of dedication at the Southern Methodist 
Church “because the flag was draped over the door.” He conducted 
services in military establishments, he said, almost every Sunday after- 
noon, where the flag was appropriate, but it was not appropriate at the 
church. He stood on the principle of separation of church and state and 
the church was no place where loyalty to an existing government should 
be tested. An excited crowd, furthermore, was in no condition to give 
“quiet attention to gospel truth. . . . The placing of that flag over the 
door was an intimation, from some quarter, that the loyalty of the con- 
gregation was in doubt.” He had known the devoted leaders of that 
congregation for years as men “of Christian sincerity and quiet fidelity.” 
He hoped that these people, “permitted, because trusted, to spend 
months in the erection of their house for separate worship, will be allowed 
its quiet occupation on the coming Sabbath.” Stanton declared Samson 
“truly brave and right” and the flag was down before two o’clock that 
afternoon. The next Sunday, the Baptist president of Columbian College in 
quiet solemnity dedicated a Southern Methodist Church in the northern 
capital to the worship and the glory of an Almighty God who wore 
neither blue nor gray. 14 

So thoroughly recognized was Dr. Samson’s influence and integrity that 
during the War, with the permission and encouragement of the Secretaries 
of State and of War, he visited the President of the Confederate States 
“to insure the transmission of letters and moneys for humane and 
Christian purposes and in every way keep alive a Christian interchange” 
between the temporarily severed parts of the nation. 15 

The outreach of the College during the first forty years of its existence 
had been remarkable. Although the official attitude of the Baptists toward 
the College varied from time to time, the institution had served the 
church well. Of the 300 graduates of the College before the War, 104 
became ministers of the Gospel. Among them many are recalled as men 
of exceptional influence and ability. In the first few classes we find such 
distinguished names among the clergy as James D. Knowles, A.B. 1824; 
Robert W. Cushman, A.B. 1825; Baron Stow, A.B. 1825; Stephen G. 


Bricks Without Straw 

Bulfinch, A.B. 1826; Rollin Heber Neale, A.B. 1829. Many became heads 
of institutions of higher learning: William Greenleaf Eliot, A.B. 1829, 
chancellor of Washington University, St. Louis; Robert Ryland, A.B. 1826, 
president of Richmond College; William Carey Crane, A.B. 1836, presi- 
dent of Baylor University; Henry Holcombe Tucker, A.B. 1838, presi- 
dent of Mercer University and later chancellor of the University of 
Georgia; Charles L. Cocke, A.B. 1839, president of Hollins College; 
Luther R. Gwaltney, A.B. 1853, president of Judson College and later 
president of Mercer University; William Lyne Wilson, A.B. i860, presi- 
dent of West Virginia University and later president of Washington and 
Lee University; Richard Herndon Rawlings, A.B. 1854, president of 
Judson College. Many who had taught on the faculty of Columbian later 
served as presidents of other institutions. Irah Chase founded the Newton 
Theological Seminary. Alva Woods became president of the University 
of Alabama; Josiah Meigs, of the University of Georgia; Alexis Caswell, 
of Brown University; Adiel Sherwood, of Shurtleff College; Rufus 
Babcock, of Waterville (later Colby) College; Robert Everett Pattison, of 
Waterville College; and Kendall Brooks, of Kalamazoo. Samuel Wait was 
the founder of Wake Forest College. 

In other fields of activity, several served in the Congress of the United 
States. Among them, in the House of Representatives: Thomas Dawes 
Eliot, A.B. 1825, of Massachusetts; William Lyne Wilson, A.B. i860, of 
West Virginia, who was also Postmaster General under Cleveland; 
Frederick Perry Stanton, A.B. 1833, of Tennessee, who was also governor 
of Kansas; William Alexander Harris, Ph.B. 1859, of Kansas, later a 
senator. And in the Senate: Daniel T. Jewett, A.B. 1829, of Missouri; 
Matthew Walker Brooke, A.B. 1831, of Mississippi. Robert Ould, A.B. 
1838, was Judge Advocate General C.S.A.; William Benning Webb, A.B. 
1844, became a Commissioner of the District of Columbia, and Harvey 
Lindsley, M.D. 1828, was an early president of the American Medical 

Of the alumni who were members of the faculty the best known was 
Adoniram Judson Huntington, A.B. 1843, Professor of Latin and Greek 
for half a century. No graduate of the University has ever served as 
president of the institution in permanent tenure. 16 

Fifteen of the prewar graduates of the College received also the degree 
of Doctor of Medicine from Columbian. Some families contribute 
several names to the list of early graduates. There are for example the 
three sons of Judge Cranch: John, A.B. 1826, the artist; Edward Pope, 

V/VSMi.'Mk’Of# ' 

The seal of Columbian College, drawn by James Peale 
and adopted by the Board of Trustees in 1821. When 
the College became a University, the same seal was 
retained, with the inscription changed from College to 
University first in Latin, then in English. 

The College building on College Hill after 1860 when the mansard roof on the 
original structure was raised to produce a full fourth story. 




m J 

Washington Infirmary, in Judiciary 
Square. An early teaching hospital, 
it contained both lecture halls and 
the clinical department. It was the 
quarters of the Medical Department, 

The Law School, 1865-1884. This 
building, originally Trinity Church, 
was located on Fifth Street on the 
site of the present Columbian Build- 
ing. Lectures in medicine were also 
given here while the Medical De- 
partment was without a home of its 

A view down Tenth Street, about the turn of the century, showing Ford’s 
Theatre and, at the northeast corner of Tenth and E Streets, the first Medical 
School. The peculiar shape of the roof was due to an effort to secure as much 
daylight as possible for the anatomical department on the top floor. (Washing- 
toniana Collection, D.C. Public Library.) 

" ~ m* •— • #fPwtS 

Tent wards in Columbian College General Hospital, with the College building 
in the background. (From a photograph, probably by Mathew Brady, originally 
in the Ordway Collection. Library of Congress. ) 

Columbian College and Carver Barracks, Meridian Hill, Washington, D.C., 1864. 
(From a print lithographed and printed by Charles Magnus, 1864. University 

George Whitefield Samson, D.D., 
fifth President, 1859-1871. (Brady 
Collection, Library of Congress. ) 

The Medical School, on the north 
side of H Street, midway between 
Thirteenth and Fourteenth Streets. 
In 1865, while being used as the 
United States Army Medical Mu- 
seum, this building was offered to 
the College by Mr. W W Corcoran. 
The Trustees accepted, and turned it 
over to the Medical faculty to be 
adapted to their purposes. The build- 
ing was used as a medical school for 
two years, 1866-1868. 

James Clarke Welling, sixth 
President, 1871-1894. (Univer- 
sity Collection.) 

Law School, H Street, east of 
the University Building, 1899- 

In 1868, the Board authorized 
the enlargement of the build- 
ing used from 1866 to 1868 as 
the Medical School. This in- 
volved the addition of a floor 
and other new construction. 
In this modified form the 

nnJl IflAI 

Samuel Harrison Greene, Benaiah Longley Whitman, 

D.D., acting President, 1894- D.D., seventh President, 1895- 

1895, 1900-1902. (University 1900. (University Collection.) 

Collection. ) 

William Wilson Corcoran, President 

of the Corporation, 1869-1888; prin- 
cipal benefactor of the University in 
the late nineteenth century. (Por- 
trait by Mathew Brady [Brady No. 
3130], National Archives. ) 

Charles Willis Needham, 
eighth President, 1902-1910. 
(University Collection.) 

Retrospect: The College and the Medical College, 1821-1861 113 

A.B. 1826, the lawyer; and Christopher Pearse, A.B. 1831, Unitarian 
minister, minor poet, and painter. Five of the Bagby family were graduates 
of the College in the prewar years. The list of distinguished graduates 
given above is bound to be incomplete. It does, however, suggest the 
remarkable output of an infant college. 

In looking retrospectively over the first forty years of the life of 
Columbian College, emphasis has naturally been placed on the College, 
with some attention to its Preparatory School. In an earlier chapter there 
was some reference to its ephemeral Theological Department, to the 
brief career of the first Law School, and to the establisment of the Medical 
Department. Only the last was to have a continuous existence, except for 
a short break in its regular lectures from 1834-1839, although the pro- 
fessors still continued instruction to private classes, and another break 
during the latter part of the War of 1861-1865. 17 

Although the Medical School was organized as the Medical Department 
of Columbian College by authorization of the College’s Board of Trustees 
and its ordinances approved by the Board, it was not subject to the same 
vicissitudes that afflicted the College proper. Its faculty handled the 
department’s finances generally as a matter of personal risk and received 
and disbursed funds. Its financial operations were never covered in the 
Treasurer’s Report during these years. On the recommendation of the 
Medical faculty, the Board made appointments and granted its mandamus 
for the conferring of the degree of Doctor of Medicine by the president 
of the College at its own Commencements. As has been previously noted 
the Board did, at the College’s expense, underwrite the cost of young Dr. 
Staughton’s period of study and travel in Europe, preparatory to his 
serving on the first Medical faculty. There was some interchange between 
the members of the College and Medical faculties. Some of the Medical 
professors held appointments in the College faculty and offered college 
courses in basic sciences, and the various literary courses in the College 
were open to Medical students to assist them in gaining the acquaintance 
with the arts that was expected of medical graduates. 

Early in its history, the legal status of the Medical Department was 
challenged. The enabling clause of the Charter established a “College 
for the sole and exclusive purpose of educating youth in the English, 
learned and foreign languages; the liberal arts and sciences, and literature.” 
Section 6 of the 1821 Charter gave the faculty the power “of granting 
and confirming, by and with the consent of the board of trustees, 
signified by their mandamus, such degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, to 


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such pupils of the institution, or others, who, by their proficiency in 
learning or other meritorious distinction, they shall think entitled to 
them, as are usually granted and conferred in colleges.” Strictly, in other 
words, the Charter authorized degrees in the liberal arts and sciences in 
course, and honorary degrees. 

There was presented to the 19th Congress, 1st Session, a “Memorial of 
Sundry Citizens of the District of Columbia, Praying that a Charter may 
be granted by Congress to Enable Them to Institute a Medical College, 
etc.” The memorialists did not mention Columbian College but stated 
that the time had arrived when a medical college should be established in 
the city of Washington. The names of thirty-six well-known citizens, 
seven of them physicians, were signed to the memorial. On the same day, 
February 13, 1826, the professors in the Medical Department of Columbian 
College presented their memorial in which they traced the history of 
Columbian’s Medical Department, questioned the need and expediency 
of two medical schools in the District, and disclaimed any desire for a 
monopoly. Seven days later, on February 20, 1826, the original memorial- 
ists presented a counter memorial to the Congress. They pointed out the 
limitations in the Charter and compared its statement with that in the act 
of March 1, 1815, giving Georgetown College the right to confer such 
degrees as are usually conferred by colleges and universities of the United 
States. They emphasized the significance of the word “universities” and 
suggested that the Columbian Medical faculty had usurped a power not 
legally theirs. They repeated their request for a charter for a medical 
college. On February 22 a memorial signed by an even more imposing 
group of citizens as to both number and distinction was presented to 
Congress, asking that “inasmuch as there is already, in successful opera- 
tion in this District, one respectable institution of that character,” another 
not be incorporated. This point of view prevailed. 18 

After this unsuccessful challenge to its right to exist, the Medical 
Department continued to grow. An announcement in the press in July, 
1 840, stated that lectures would commence on the first Monday in Novem- 
ber annually and continue until the first of March in the Medical College 
at the comer of Tenth and E Streets. Five professors held chairs, re- 
spectively, in pathology and the practice of medicine, chemistry and 
pharmacy, obstetrics and the diseases of women and children, materia 
medica and therapeutics, and surgery. Students in surgery observed 
operations and were allowed to perform the more important ones with 
their own hands. The entire expense for the course of lectures by all the 

Retrospect: The College and the Medical College, 1821-1861 115 

professors was $70, a dissecting ticket f 10 at the student’s option. Good 
board could be procured at from $3 to $4 per week. 19 

In 1847, on recommendation of the Medical faculty, the Board of 
Trustees added “the National Medical College” to the already cumbersome 
name of “the Medical Department of the Columbian College in the 
District of Columbia.” 20 

In 1843 the only facilities for hospitalization in the District were those 
of the Naval Hospital, the poorhouse infirmary, and the jail where the 
indigent insane were confined. As a result of a campaign launched by 
the District Board of Health to correct the situation, Congress granted the 
old jail, vacant since the removal of its inmates to a new building, to the 
Medical faculty for the purpose of medical instruction and for an 

The Infirmary was opened when the necessary alterations were com- 
pleted. The two-story building, with a frontage of about 150 feet, 
provided lecture rooms, an anatomical museum, laboratory, professors’ 
rooms, and facilities for a large number of patients. Patients paid the 
steward “a very small sum” for board. Medical attention was given 
gratuitously by the faculty, who also supplied medicine and advice 
without charge to the poor, daily between 9 and 10 a.m. in the clinic. 21 
President Tyler, who had taken a personal interest in the project, ap- 
pointed three members of the Medical faculty as physicians in charge. In 
1844, at its request, the Medical faculty was given charge of the building, 
and its professors visited the hospital daily. 

During the period from June, 1845, to November, 1848, responsibility 
for nursing service was assumed by the Daughters of Charity of St. 
Vincent de Paul. The Sisters of Charity returned to the Washington 
Infirmary at the outbreak of the War of 1861-1865 and remained there 
nursing the wounded soldiers until November 4, 1861, when the Infirmary 
was destroyed by fire. Congress later appropriated $537 to reimburse the 
Sisters for personal property lost in the fire. 22 

Public opinion did not appear to favor Congressional largess to the 
Medical School. Some of the local physicians were vocal in their protest 
at the closing of the hospital to physicians not connected with Columbian. 
There was even a demand that the building be turned over to the school 
board for use as a high school. However, the control remained unchanged 
until, at the outbreak of the War, the hospital was taken over by the 

To finance the hospital during its first years was a matter of difficulty 


Bricks Without Straw 

since Congress restricted its assistance to appropriating funds for the care 
of paupers. In 1853, an appropriation to enlarge the building and so pro- 
vide more rooms for indigent patients did permit the addition of a lecture 
room for the school. 

An account of the enlarged Infirmary on Judiciary Square which 
appeared in the press in 1853 pointed out that the Medical Department’s 
Infirmary was the Marine Hospital of the District of Columbia, to which 
the Collectors of Customs at the ports of Alexandria and Georgetown 
could send all seamen requiring medical assistance. The Infirmary and 
College were situated on a plot of several acres, well removed from any 
dwellings. No one suffering from contagious diseases was admitted. Its 
central location made it ideal for receiving emergency cases. 

To the enlarged building were added wings three stories high, and a 
neat cupola. The third floor had a spacious hall in front for the patients’ 
exercise and recreation. The building contained more than one hundred 
well-finished rooms, accommodating in all at least 300 persons. Ventilation 
was well provided for, and adequate heat was furnished to all parts of 
the building. 

The development of the Infirmary as a teaching adjunct was a matter 
of great educational significance. Here was one of the earliest teaching 
hospitals in the country. As Dean Parks has written: “This early hospital 
provided students with opportunities for clinical experience not offered 
at most schools until the turn of this century.” 23 

It seems almost tragic that this magnificent teaching adjunct should 
have been the College’s first major casualty in the great war that was about 
to begin. 




O n April 24, 1861, President Samson called a special meeting of the 
Board of Trustees to report that twenty students had left the College 
owing to the disturbed condition of the country and that more were 
planning to leave. The Board was asked to consider the possibility of 
continuing the exercises of the institution. The president had addressed 
notes to patrons of the College in the city asking for their opinion as to 
a recess. Two-fifths of the students had given indications of remaining 
and the professors were willing to carry on, with the exception of John 
Pollard, a tutor, who wanted to resign, and Professor Ruggles, who was 
anxious to travel for a time. Inasmuch as the students who had withdrawn 
had done so on their own initiative, it was felt they were not entitled to 
refunds. The treasurer was directed to receive Virginia money when 
tendered rather than permit bills to go unpaid; the Virginia currency 
would be used to pay the bills of the College when the creditors would 
accept it. The seniors had already left, and the question of their degrees 
was postponed for later consideration. It was the sense of the Board that 
as long as students sought instruction, the College would remain in 
operation. The students were going to the War, and war would soon 
come to the College. The city was in a state of turmoil and unrest. 

In the forty years that had passed since the granting of the Charter 
of Columbian College in the District of Columbia, the city of Washington 
had changed greatly. The District had decreased in area due to the retro- 
cession of Virginia’s portion of the territory originally ceded to form the 
ten-miles square. The total population of the District in 1820 was 33,039; in 


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i860 it was 75,080; that of the city of Washington was 13,117 in 1820 
and 61,122 in i860. The gain for the District in i860 over 1820 was even 
greater than it appears since the later figure did not include the population 
of Alexandria, which had been retroceded in 1 846. This growth in popula- 
tion was reflected in the increase of the number of dwellings in the city. 
On January 1, 1823, there were 2,346; in 1859 there were 9,769.* Gas 
for illumination and cooking was coming quickly into general use. In 
1856 the Washington Gas Light Company already had 1,700 customers, 
more than 30 miles of gas mains, and some 500 street lights. 2 

Water mains had been laid through the length of the city to the Navy 
Yard. Great improvement had been made in the grading and graveling of 
streets. Washington was no longer a city of magnificent distances. The 
distances were still there. In fact, the majestic width of the main streets 
imposed a great strain on municipal finance when it came to paving. The 
magnificence of nature had been reduced by efforts toward a magnif- 
icence of man. But man’s job was still notably incomplete. The govern- 
ment buildings were in course of construction. Progress had been made 
toward completing the Capitol, Treasury, Post Office, and Patent Office 
buildings. The Washington Monument had risen to 170 feet and awaited 
funds for the resumption of the work. The blocks received from the 
states, towns, and organizations to be used in embellishing the interior 
were on display in sheds. There was little evidence of effort toward 
landscaping. For the time being, stables and shacks often stood back to 
back with monumental public buildings. 

It was this city, trying to become a true national metropolis, that ex- 
perienced in an especially poignant way the fears and alarms that caused 
the students in Columbian College, just across the city boundary, to 
abandon their studies. Less than two years before, grossly exaggerated 
rumors at the time of John Brown’s Raid had thrown the city into panic 
for fear of an attack on it and an uprising of the slaves. When the real 
proportions of the raid were known, fears died down. A reorganization 
of the militia was about the only step taken to improve the defense of 
the city. The election of Lincoln, followed so shortly by the secession of 
South Carolina in December, i860, brought out again all the old fears 
and many new ones. Would the inauguration of Lincoln involve the city 
in a wave of violence? If the Union fell to pieces, would Washington, on 
the border, cease to be the capital? 

When the President-elect arrived secretly in Washington on February 
23, the need for extraordinary measures was apparent. Breaking with 

War, 1861-1865 up 

precedent, the inaugural procession was not a civilian demonstration but 
was like a military expedition, as one historian has written. The militia 
was federalized and immediately after the firing on Fort Sumter the 
President, on April 15, called on the governors of the states to provide 
quotas of the militia. 

As the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, the first of these contingents, 
passed through Baltimore on its way to the capital on April 19, it was 
savagely attacked by a mob. To prevent a repetition of this, the city 
authorities cut the railroads leading to the North, so that for the time no 
troops could be sent directly from the North to Washington. 3 

The wounded troops of the Sixth Massachusetts were brought on to 
Washington and placed in the Washington Infirmary, the quarters of the 
Medical School and its hospital. From that time on, the Infirmary was 
used as a military hospital, until it was totally destroyed by fire on 
November 4, 1861. The Medical Department had lost its classrooms and 
its hospital. After the first battle of Bull Run, when it was necessary to ex- 
pand rapidly the hospital facilities within the District, the government 
began to take over buildings and grounds on College Hill. 4 In many cases 
contingents of troops would occupy areas without formal permission. In 
June, 1861, the Third Maine Regiment of Volunteers destroyed a large 
section of the College fence which was used for flooring in the tents, 
leaving a field of clover unprotected. The Quartermaster agreed to pay 
$150 for the repair of the fence and S75 for five acres of clover when 
appropriations were available. 5 

On June 15, 1861, the Board of Trustees empowered its Executive Com- 
mittee with the president and treasurer to contract with the government 
for rental of the College building at the rate of $350 per month. The 
arrangement was made, although it appears that from July, 1862, the 
government arbitrarily reduced the rent to $250 per month. It was 
reported to the Board on October 28, 1862, that the steward’s house had 
been taken for $50 per month and that sixteen acres of College ground 
had been occupied for the erection of barracks for which remuneration 
was to be sought. 6 

The military were not exactly comfortable neighbors. In the summer 
of 1861 we find President Samson telling a mournful tale of woe about 
the encroachments of the several regiments encamped “back of our 
grounds.” The First Maine made a commons of his meadow, from which 
he cut $50 worth of hay a year, and his garden, which supplied his table 
with vegetables. His stable was used for their horses and its loft as a 


Bricks Without Straw 

guardhouse, his hay to make beds for the men. His carriages were used 
day and night by loungers and were badly broken and defaced. The 
College pump was used daily by 3,000 men; it required repairs every 
week. Life must have been rugged indeed for the Reverend President. 7 

Two major military hospitals were organized on the College grounds, 
Columbian College Hospital and Carver Hospital. Across Fourteenth 
Street just outside the College grounds were Mount Pleasant Hospital 
and Stone Hospital. The capacity of Carver was 1,300 beds; of Columbian, 
844; of Mount Pleasant, 1,618; and of Stone, 170. 8 

No one in Washington could fail to see the havoc of war. Listen to 
Walt Whitman: 

As I sit writing this paragraph (Sundown, Thursday June 25 [1863]) I see 
a train of about thirty large four-horse wagons, passing up Fourteenth 
Street, on their way probably to Columbian, Carver and Mount Pleasant 
hospitals. This is the way the men come in now, seldom in small numbers, 
but almost always in these long sad processions. 

His letters show that he devoted much time to the patients at Carver 
Hospital, which he describes as “a little city in itself” with more “in- 
mates than an ordinary country town.” His visits were no doubt a 
welcome antidote to the drabness of the hospital. “O, I must tell you,” 
he wrote his mother on June 3, 1864, “I [gave] in Carver hospital a 
great treat of Ice Cream, a couple of days ago, went around myself 
through about fifteen large wards — I bought some ten gallons, very 
nice. You would have cried and been amused too. Many of the men 
had to be fed; several of them I saw cannot probably live, yet they 
quite enjoyed it. I gave everybody some — quite a number [of] Western 
country boys had never tasted ice cream before.” 9 

The Columbian College Hospital had one distinguished civilian as an 
emergency patient. President Samson wrote that one day as Mrs. Lincoln 
was riding down Fourteenth Street from Soldier’s Home, where the 
Summer White House was located, the horses of her carriage bolted 
and started to dash down the hill, just as they passed the College entrance. 
The President’s wife, in jumping from the carriage, fell and was taken 
into Columbian College Hospital where she was cared for by Mrs. 
Rebecca R. Pomroy, who had lost both husband and son in the War 
and was working as a nurse. Whenever thereafter there was illness in 
the Lincoln family the services of Mrs. Pomroy were always sought. 10 

On one occasion at least, President Lincoln visited Columbian College 


War, 1861-1865 

Hospital. Senator Orville Hickman Browning of Illinois records in his 
diary that on Sunday afternoon, May 18, 1862, the President sent for 
him and he and Mr. Lincoln rode out to the hospital at the College, 
“went all through it, and shook hands and talked with all the sick and 
wounded.” 11 

Columbian College U.S. General Hospital was used for the whole 
four years of the War, from July 14, 1861, to July 10, 1865. The only 
graduate of the Medical Department known to have served on the staff 
of this hospital was Marcellus King Moxley (1839-1889), M.D. 1863. 
Dr. Moxley served as a Medical Cadet from September, 1861, to July 4, 
1862, then as an Assistant Surgeon. 

A proposal for the purchase of College Hill was made by the Surgeon 
General of the Army on behalf of the government in the early part of 
the War. President Samson pointed out: 

The College grounds consist of nearly 47 acres, including a strip of land 
extending from Boundary Street [now Florida Avenue] along 14th Street 
road and between 14th and 13th Streets prolonged a distance of about one 
half mile; having a grove of native forest trees in front and another in the 
rear; including also a triangular shaped piece of ground projecting South 
of Boundary St. and having a dwelling house upon it, and a triangular strip 
used as a Cemetery north of the road [now Columbia Road] passing along 
the northern boundary of the main property. 

The Buildings of the College consist of the main edifice, now occupied as 
a Hospital, a Steward’s house with large back building, a Professor’s house, 
a double house for the President, a school building, a new and large brick 
stable, with other out buildings. All these have been enlarged or improved 
within two years; and all are or may be heated from the common engine 
room which heats the College edifice, Steward’s house and school building. 
The entire expense of these buildings, including $5,000 for heating apparatus 
and $1,000 for drainage has been about $67,000. The land cost originally 
$7,000; and since that period, 42 years ago, the land in the vicinity has 
increased about ten fold in value. 

President Samson felt that the Board might entertain an offer for the 
purchase of the property at the low price of $100,000, since the govern- 
ment’s occupation made it impossible for the College officers to protect 
the property or to carry on their duties properly and since there had 
been some desire on the part of the patrons to move the College into 
the city. The president hoped that the government, before proceeding 
with its offers to purchase, would consider the fact that thousands had 
given of their means to aid the College to be located at this spot for the 


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purpose of promoting the interests of education at the national metropolis. 
The government did not take the College, but the incident has provided 
for us, in President Samson’s letter, the best description we have of the 
College property in 1861. 12 

To the College buildings used for the hospital, the government had 
added several other buildings: a two-story barracks, a baggage house, a 
kitchen, a drying house, two guardhouses, and five outbuildings. 13 

On December 5, 1861, Colonel W. W. H. Davis of the 104th Regiment, 
Pennsylvania Volunteers, First Brigade of Casey’s Division, appointed 
First Lieutenant James M. Carver of Company C, 104th Regiment, Penn- 
sylvania Volunters, “General Superintendent for the erection of Winter 
Quarters for the Brigade.” 14 

It was this Lieutenant Carver apparently who designed and supervised 
the building of the wooden structures in the College grounds south of the 
College buildings which became known in compliment to him as Carver 
Barracks. It was in these buildings that a general hospital was opened on 
April 17, 1862, under the name of Carver U.S. General Hospital. An 
administration building and six new wards 200 feet in length were added. 
The capacity of the hospital was further expanded by the use of a large 
number of tents, thus becoming one of the larger hospitals in the area. 
Carver Hospital was closed on August 17, 1865. 

A century later, it is difficult to see how it was possible to carry on 
instruction on College Hill, with two major general hospitals with 2,144 
beds on the grounds and with added military contingents from time to 
time camped on the grounds in tents. Each year the faculty reported 
its firm resolution to continue instruction as long as there were any 

The effect of the War on College enrollment can be seen from the 
accompanying figures, reported as of June 30 by the president in his 
annual reports showing the maximum number of students registered 
during each of the War years. 










3 i 





3 1 





12 ^ 

War, 1861-1863 

In addition to carrying on the duties of the president, of a minister of 
the Gospel, and of a public man, Dr. Samson had to assume personally 
a large share of the instruction and also, after the resignation of the 
Reverend Joseph Hammitt in the summer of 1862, the duties of agent. 
His burden was eased by the high degree of cooperation and good 
deportment on the part of the student body, upon which he invariably 
commented in his annual reports. There were graduates each year during 
the War. Since the College building which contained the dormitory 
accommodations was occupied in July, 1861, there was no attempt to 
register boarders, although a few were taken care of in the steward’s 
house. No catalogue was issued in 1862. 15 

The Medical Department’s experience was still more difficult, for the 
Washington Infirmary was taken over by the government for a military 
hospital and shortly thereafter totally destroyed by fire. Its teaching 
hospital and lecture rooms were lost to the Medical Department forever. 

On June 24, 1862, it was reported to the Trustees that, “two years 
since,” Old Trinity Church on Judiciary Square had been purchased by 
a member of the Medical faculty with the assistance of the president 
for $10,000. The last installment had been paid and nearly $4,000 was 
being spent to fit up lecture rooms, library, and public hall with twelve 
law offices for rent. The building was to be completed by September first 
“unless arrested by occupancy as a government hospital.” Significantly, 
reference was made to the desirability of reviving the Law School. The 
Medical School had been in a bad way, with constant changes in the 
faculty and the falling off of student enrollment. Prospects had been 
greatly improved, however, by the knowledge that “a gentleman of this 
city” was considering giving the College a building for the Medical 
School. It was recommended that thought be given to a more direct 
control of the affairs of the Medical Department and especially of any 
building that might be given the College for the department’s use. 16 

To provide for a continuation of instruction after the loss of Washing- 
ton Infirmary, Dean J. C. Riley reported to his faculty on October 18, 
1861, that a building on E Street between Eleventh and Twelfth Streets 
had been leased. This building was known as the Union Printing Office, 
or as the Constitution Office, from the names of the newspapers published 
there. Dr. Toner in his Anniversary Oration in 1866 states that lectures 
continued in that building “for sometime.” Lectures were suspended in 
1863-1864 and 1864-1865. In his annual report for 1863, the president 
stated that the faculty of the Medical School was then occupying rooms 


Bricks Without Straw 

in Old Trinity Church and that when that building was “fitted” title 
would be transferred to the College. Lectures in medicine were resumed in 
this building, then known as the law building of Columbian College, 
in 1865. 17 

Matters of great significance were taking form that were to change 
the whole organization of the College and create the framework for the 
University. Discussion with reference to the revival of the Law School 
had been continued by a committee headed by Joseph Henry, the famous 
scientist and a prominent Trustee. The committee was convinced of the 
desirability of the project for three reasons: the strategic location of the 
College in the national capital; the presence here of many young men 
with college degrees or literary backgrounds, working in the govern- 
ment, but with much time on their hands and looking forward to law; 
and the authority of the Charter and the prestige of the Law School, 
begun forty years before, but suspended for financial reasons. The 
school should have two professors, one for the work of each year, and 
invite lecturers on special branches such as military jurisprudence, patent 
law, laws of diplomacy, and consular procedure. Satisfactory completion 
of two years of study of eight months each from October first to June 
first would earn the LL.B. degree. A graduation fee of fioo would be 
charged, the money to be used for contingent expenses, heating, lighting, 
etc., payment of professors, and the procuring of a library. Decision was 
delayed for a year, but the project was far from being abandoned. 18 

While the resumption of legal education was being considered, new 
difficulties beset the Medical School. An impression that had spread 
around to the effect that the government was going to open a school with 
free instruction in medicine and surgery, together with other factors, 
had so affected enrollment that continuance of the Medical School was 
not justified in 1863-1864. The President’s Report for 1864 expressed the 
hope that the school could be resumed under more favorable auspices 
and that the Law School could be revived. Modest surpluses in operation 
were stimulating hopes. Nevertheless in 1864 the Board voted to delay 
the opening of the Law School and in 1864-1865 lectures in the Medical 
School were suspended for a second year, but the Law School’s reopening 
was authorized for the fall of 1865. 19 

On July 12, 1865, the Board received Mr. W. W. Corcoran’s offer to 
present to the College the building on H Street, then used as the United 
States Army Medical Museum. Six months later the Trustees turned 
over to the Medical faculty all the arrangements necessary to adapt the 


War, 1861-186J 

building to its purposes. The housing problem for medicine and law was 
now settled in buildings under the College’s control. 20 

In the War, which was just ending, the graduates in medicine had 
played a large role. It would appear that at least 46 served in the 
Union Army and 24 in the forces of the Confederacy. William James 
Hamilton White (1827-1862), M.D. 1848, Surgeon U.S.A., who fell at 
the Battle of Antietam September 17, 1862, was the first medical officer 
killed in the War. 21 Dr. Alexander Yelverton Peyton Garnett (1820-1888), 
Professor of Anatomy, a surgeon in the Confederate Army, served as 
physician to President Jefferson Davis. 22 Another graduate of the College, 
John Wesley Clampitt, Ph.B. 1861, played a professional role in a 
sequel to the tragedy of Lincoln’s assassination. He was counsel for Mary 
E. Surratt in the trial of the conspirators for the killing of the President. 

Dr. John Frederick May (1812-1891), A.B. 1831, M.D. 1834, Professor 
of Surgery, figured in the great national tragedy — the assassination of the 
war-time President — at two points. Renowned as a surgeon, he was 
called to the bedside of Lincoln, probed the wound, and confirmed the 
opinion that nothing could be done to save the President. He was to 
figure also in the confused aftermath of the assassination: Dr. May 
identified the corpse of John Wilkes Booth. 

In a paper written by Dr. May in 1887 and not published during his 
lifetime, he tells that some time before the assassination “a fashionably 
dressed and remarkably handsome young man” had come to his office 
and introduced himself as Mr. Booth. He was playing an engagement 
then with Miss Charlotte Cushman and was much annoyed by a large 
and constantly growing lump on the back of his neck which he wanted 
the surgeon to remove. The surgeon told him that he would operate 
only on condition that Booth would suspend his engagement and take a 
complete rest, explaining that the wound would close without a scar 
if he remained quiet, but if it broke open it would leave a large and 
conspicuous scar. Booth said he would not break his engagement and 
that the doctor must operate. Upon Booth’s insistence the doctor removed 
the tumor and the wound healed with the likelihood of but a slight scar. 
About a week after the wound started to heal, Booth came to the doctor 
with the wound wide open, saying that following the action of the play 
Miss Cushman had embraced him with such force and so roughly that 
the wound was opened. An ugly scar resulted. Time passed and Dr. May 
was summoned to the Navy Yard to go on board a ship anchored 
there to see if he could identify a body as Booth’s. When he saw the body 


Bricks Without Straw 

he declared that it bore no resemblance to Booth. He described the scar, 
and when the corpse was turned, there it was. When the body was placed 
in various positions, Dr. May began to make out the lineaments of 
Booth. Never, he wrote, had a greater change taken place. The Adonis 
he had known was now a haggard corpse, with skin discolored and 
facial expression sunken, a harrowing picture of starvation and exposure. 
But it was Booth. The lower right leg was greatly contused and com- 
pletely black from a fracture of one of the long bones. Dr. May wrote 
his account after Giteau’s assassination of President Garfield, and he 
concluded with the observation that “none but madmen has assailed with 
murderous intent the Chief Magistrate of the nation since the foundation 
of the Republic .” 23 




I n the early months of the War, Washington decreased in population. 

Civil servants with southern sympathies left, many of the residents 
sent their families away to what they thought were places of greater 
safety, and those who had homes elsewhere made their way to them. 
Work on public buildings was stopped and many mechanics and laborers 
were thrown out of employment. The supply of food and other necessities 
moving into the District had been interrupted, and prices skyrocketed. 
Temporarily the city was in bad shape; but within a few months, with 
the building of defenses under way, the organization of militia forces 
from the District, and the moving in of troops from the states, calm 
returned, and rapid improvement began. 

The assembling of tens of thousands of troops to form the Army of 
the Potomac transformed the capital city into a vast military camp. West 
of Twenty-first Street and south of G Street down to the wharves on 
the river there was a vast series of depots for all types of military supplies 
and equipment and huge corrals for tens of thousands of horses and 
mules. Large unoccupied areas throughout the District were used for 
military encampments, and schools and churches were commandeered 
for hospital use. Demand for labor, skilled and unskilled, grew. Civil 
employees of the government increased in number tremendously. All 
forms of business were stimulated. The population jumped from the 
sixty-odd thousand shown in the i860 census to 140,000 reported by 
the police board in 1863, plus the constantly varying military population. 
This radical increase in size and the change in the nature of the population 



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brought special problems of their own. Washington had become a large 
city, and a large city with large-city problems was the outlook for the 
future. 1 

Circumstances were rapidly developing which were to transform 
Columbian College into an urban university. When Joseph Henry, the 
chairman of the Trustees’ Committee, had recommended the reopening of 
the Law School, he had mentioned the number of young men who were 
working for the government and who were considering law as a pro- 
fession. The number of civil servants had vastly increased, and many 
of them (though Henry’s observation had been restricted to the law) 
would no doubt be interested in study in the liberal arts and sciences, not 
only at an undergraduate but at a graduate level. Government clerks at 
the time enjoyed bankers’ hours. Offices were closed at three in the 
afternoon and adherence to the closing hour seems to have been loosely 
enforced. Frequently a block of work was assigned for the day, and 
when that was completed many employees felt free to leave. 

The lectures of the Medical faculty had traditionally begun in the 
late afternoon, as did those in law when that department was re- 
opened. Practicing physicians and surgeons came to lecture in medicine; 
likewise, among Henry’s recommendations for the Law School was one 
that visiting lecturers in special branches of the law be utilized. In the 
College, work in the regular classes, held in the forenoon and early after- 
noon, was supplemented by lectures offered later in the day. The 
employed student, or “the late-afternoon student” as he was called for 
decades, was constituting a more and more pronounced area of interest. 
Likewise the utilization of the part-time teacher, often a government 
expert who gave lectures in his specialty, was becoming more general. 

Not without bearing was the growing renewed discussion of the ad- 
visability of moving the College from College Hill to the center of the 
city. As we have seen, this discussion had begun even before the outbreak 
of the War; but the decision had been not to move the College to the city. 

No sooner was the War over than President Samson laid before the 
Trustees a plat of the College’s south grounds “that might be disposed 
of to advantage.” This was the preliminary to positive action. 2 

The grounds south of the College lawn were divided by streets and 
alleys according to the plat. A strip of land on the west of the area was 
to be laid out as an alley with a width that varied from io to 18 feet, and 
surrendered to the Levy Court for a public road, provided the party on 
the other side of the strip dedicated enough of his holding to make a street 


Reconstruction, 1869-1871 

50 feet wide. The two streets running east and west, that had just been 
opened, were to be named Staughton and Chapin. On the basis of an 
expert appraisal, lots fronting on Fourteenth Street were to bring an 
annual rental of 6 per cent of their valuation, the latter based on 25 cents 
per square foot, during a ten-year lease, the lessee to pay all taxes. These 
lots could not be occupied by stores for the sale of spirituous liquors or 
“any other traffic not previously approved by the Board.” Lots fronting 
on Boundary, Staughton, and Chapin Streets could be used only for 
dwellings and outbuildings for family and residential purposes. They were 
offered on a ten-year lease at an annual rental equal to 6 per cent on an 
appraised value of 15 cents per square foot, the lessee to pay all taxes. The 
College was responsible for grading streets and alleys; the lessee, for grad- 
ing the lots on a scale conforming to the streets, and for laying foot 
pavements in front of the lots. Leases could be perpetually renewed, but 
the valuations were to be fixed every ten years by a committee of three: 
a Trustee, the lessee, and a member nominated by them. In his Report for 
1867, the president estimated that the rentals would add $4,200 to the 
annual income. 3 

These measures suggested the shape of things to come: the gradual 
disposal of all the property on College Hill and a relocation of the College. 
In the same Annual Report for 1867, another item of great significance 
appeared. The president reported the success of the effort, favored at the 
annual meeting in the preceding year, “to gather an evening class of 
advanced pupils.” He recommended increased consideration of this 
project. During the second term 30 to 40 young men “had asked for 
this privilege.” The fees they paid had been sufficient to pay four pro- 
fessors $140 each and the instructor in French $90 for this added service, 
a most welcome addition to embarrassingly inadequate salaries. 

In spite of the appearance of what we recognize today as clear evidence 
of trends toward future change, strenuous efforts were made to improve 
the existing plant. Just before the War large sums had been spent on 
buildings and grounds. By the summer of 1865, the government had re- 
paired the damage done to the main College building resulting from its 
use as a hospital. What was left of John Withers’ legacy of 1853 was 
used to restore other buildings and grounds. A new Preparatory School 
building was erected on the College grounds at a cost of $8,450 and was 
named Withers Hall. The Law building was vacated after years of oc- 
cupancy by the Medical faculty, and the building on H Street given by 
W. W. Corcoran was surrendered by the War Department as a Medical 

Bricks Without Straw 


Museum and turned over to the Medical School on November 1, 1866. 
Two years later, the building was greatly enlarged to afford adequate 
facilities for instruction. 

In the refurbished main College building, a cause of much complaint 
was removed by providing new furniture for the students. For each 
boarder there were an iron bedstead, mattress, two pillows, chair, study 
table, and washstand for which he paid $10 annually. For each nonboarder, 
there were a study table and chair for which the fee was $5 annually. 
Rooms were inspected once a week. 4 

A resolution of July 27, 1865, authorized the faculty to remit one-half 
of the tuition fees of orphans and the fatherless. 5 In his Annual Report 
for 1867, the president made an earnest appeal for the endowment of 
scholarships to support pupils from the public schools. Twelve years be- 
fore, the Trustees of the Public Schools of Washington had been urged, 
in the absence of a public high school, to send a few of the advanced 
pupils to the College at the expense of the school fund. It was now hoped 
that this number could be increased through the creation of scholarship 
endowments of $8,000 each, which would underwrite the expenses of a 
student during his preparatory and college years. Such a scholarship was 
established by the Honorable Amos Kendall in 1869 through a gift of 
$6,000 in the name of Calvary Baptist Church. 6 

Aside from endowed scholarships, various individuals were each assum- 
ing the obligation to pay the tuition fees of a student. 

Student enrollment from the final year of the War to the last year of 
the Samson administration is shown in the accompanying table. The 
figures are taken from the president’s Annual Report submitted each June; 
the number of graduates each year are shown in parentheses. 

It will be noticed that there was a general build-up in enrollment until 
1 868, and then a gradual decline. The fact that the close of the War re- 
leased many young men who returned to their studies explains in part 


(College and 
Preparatory ) 





» 4 * ( 7 ) 





167 ( 5 ) 

>7 ( 4 ) 

108 ( 36) 



*«3 ( 4 ) 

29 ( 4 ) 

198 ( 59) 



189 (11) 

35 ( 8) 

210 (105) 



184 (12) 

60 (10) 

i 73 ( 7 i) 

20 (— ) 




183 ( 7) 

70 (12) 

168 ( 68) 

18 (— ) 


140 (n) 

54 Oo) 

167 ( 82) 

18 (— ) 

Reconstruction, 1865-1871 131 

the growth during the earlier years. The falling off in the later years 
caused President Samson great concern. 

Just as the hostilities were ending, the Trustees took a significant step 
in the Board’s gradual evolution from being highly denominational in 
character to being more truly public. The right to vote for Trustees in 
the triennial elections, which had been restricted to contributing denomi- 
national organizations, was extended to permit eligible individual con- 
tributors to vote. 7 

Many of the projects which had been planned during the war years 
came into fruition. A general reconditioning of all the buildings and 
grounds was got under way. The Law Department was revived and 
began instruction in 1865, with John C. Kennedy instructing the junior 
class, and William M. Merrick the senior class. 

After the Law Department had been in highly successful operation 
for two years, a plan for its permanent organization was adopted. No 
other department was to be liable for the expenses of the Law Depart- 
ment and all of the latter’s income was to be devoted exclusively to its 
own support and advancement. Student fees, office rents, donations, and 
all other receipts were to be appropriated in the following order: 

1. Payment of necessary expenses for maintenance; 

2. Salaries of professors and fees of lecturers; 

3. Increase of the library under direction of the Law faculty; 

4. Liquidation of the debt on the Law building; 

5. Creation of a fund for endowment. 

The president of the College was to be ex officio lecturer on ethics, and 
special lecturers were to be appointed at the discretion of the faculty. 
The department was to be under the supervision of the Trustees’ Com- 
mittee on the Law School with the consent of the faculty. Salaries of 
professors were set at a minimum of $2,000 and a maximum of $3,000. 
Until the minimum was reached, all the surplus after maintenance costs 
were paid was to be prorated among the professors. After the minimum 
was reached, half of the surplus was to be prorated until the maximum 
was reached. Student fees were $80 for the first year, $70 for the second. 
The policy of annual election of professors was rescinded. 8 

In the spring of 1868, a theological department was again established. 
It was not to have any special denominational complexion in its require- 
ments. Its general instruction was to be that common to all theological 
seminaries of evangelical Christians. Its students were to look to clergy 
of their own denominations for instruction in areas specifically relevant 

Bricks Without Straw 


to their own communions. The department embraced four “schools”: 
Biblical interpretation, Christian theology, church history, and ministerial 
duties. Although the College was anxious to increase its income from 
student fees and shortly thereafter raised the tuition fee of academic 
students to $60 per annum, a nominal fee of $5 per term was charged 
theological students, with the expressed intention of seeking outside aid 
from friends. Resident members of the College faculty were appointed 
to the chairs: President Samson, theology; Professor Huntington, Biblical 
literature; and Professor Shute, church history. The student body of 20 
during the first year included six Presbyterians, eight Baptists, two Episco- 
palians, two Methodists, and two Congregationalists. 9 

In the death of Amos Kendall on November 12, 1869, the College lost 
one of its most distinguished supporters. Although he held office for only 
four years, two as a Trustee and two as president of the Board of Trustees, 
his influence on the history of the institution was exceedingly great. A 
native of Massachusetts and a graduate of Dartmouth, he moved to Ken- 
tucky where he was called to the bar. He became editor of several papers, 
the Argus of Western America, published in Frankfort, being the best 
known. With powerful political connections, he came to Washington and 
achieved great influence as a member of the “Kitchen Cabinet.” As Jack- 
son’s Postmaster General he freed that department from debt. The 
memorial resolution adopted by the Trustees declared that “to his sagacity 
and skill we owe the early development of the telegraph.” “His mature 
years,” the Trustees declared, “which in God’s providence have been 
crowned with great prosperity have been devoted to the interests of 
humanity”; they were given to the building of an Asylum for the Deaf 
and Dumb, since adopted and enlarged by the government (Gallaudet 
College at Kendall Green, D.C.), the creation and endowment of Sunday 
schools, and the erection of a stately temple for the worship of God 
(Calvary Baptist Church). His benevolences to the College were many, 
including the endowment of the scholarship which still bears his name. 
President Samson had in him a warm supporter and influential friend. 10 

One Trustee who, during the period, gave almost daily attention to 
the affairs of the College was Andrew Rothwell, a member of the Board 
from 1835 until his death in 1883 and, for brief periods, its secretary and 
treasurer. Deacon Rothwell was an outstanding leader in the Baptist com- 
munity and a most useful member of the Board. No other Trustee was 
as regular in attendance at meetings, as assiduous in auditing financial 
statements, heading committees, and preparing reports. 

Reconstruction, 1865-1871 133 

The College was able to assemble a faculty of high quality, though of 
inadequate size, in the first years following the War. William Ruggles 
was still there. He was a member of the original faculty and his connection 
with the institution extended over a period of fifty-five years until his 
death in 1877. Ruggles served as spokesman of the faculty in all the 
delicate negotiations with the Board when the staff was being either 
tardily or partially paid. A man of great determination, he was unyielding 
in his convictions and emphatic in their expression. His was the great 
continuing influence during the first half-century of the College’s exist- 
ence. A versatile scholar, he taught both the natural sciences and mathe- 
matics, and the social sciences. 11 

The Reverend Adoniram Judson Huntington, A.B. 1843, has been de- 
scribed as the best-loved member of the faculty. A gifted teacher and an 
able classical scholar, he had served in the early ’forties as principal of the 
Preparatory School and joined the faculty on graduation from college; 
here he served for fifty-one years, a period broken at times by active work 
in the ministry. 

Edward T. Fristoe began his long period of service as teacher of mathe- 
matics and science in 1855, his special interest being in the field of chem- 
istry, which he taught for a generation. The Reverend Samuel Moore 
Shute came to the College in 1859 to teach the classics, but was best 
known as a teacher of English and the author of an Anglo-Saxon manual. 
The service of these men extended over decades and fixed the academic 
tone of the institution. 12 

There was another member of the faculty who could not claim the 
long term of service of these men, but who is of great interest in his 
own right. He served as professor of Latin from 1865 to 1871. William 
Lyne Wilson (1843-1900), bom in what is now West Virginia, was a 
graduate of the College in the class of i860. Although physically frail, 
he joined a Confederate quartermaster outfit stationed in the middle 
Shenandoah Valley, taking with him a trunk full of books for his intel- 
lectual pleasure. But the rather sedentary life of a quartermaster did not 
suit him, and on April 1, 1862, he joined the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry 
in which he served as a private until the surrender at Appomattox. He 
rode in the Shenandoah Campaigns, was captured and exchanged, and 
fought at Brandy Station, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, 
Cold Harbor, and on the Petersburg-Appomattox front. His letters to his 
mother and his diary describe in graphic and often classical language the 
waning of the “Southern constellation.” His epitaph for the Confederacy 


Bricks Without Straw 

was Ilium fuit (Troy was). On his return to civilian life, his plans for 
the immediate future were settled when his Alma Mater called the gifted 
young alumnus to her faculty as professor of Latin. Tradition has it that 
his first lectures were given in the uniform of a Confederate cavalryman. 
He married the daughter of Professor Huntington. He made good use of 
his time, for in the evenings and on Saturdays he studied law in the Law 
Department, which had just been reestablished. Wilson determined to 
enter into the practice of law, but as an ex-Confederate this was not 
allowed him until 1871, when he formed a partnership and hung up his 
shingle at Charles Town. Becoming involved in politics, he worked up 
from city attorney of Charles Town to delegate to the Democratic 
National Convention. But education beckoned again. Elected president 
of West Virginia University, he had hardly entered upon his duties when 
he was nominated and elected to the House of Representatives, where he 
served until his defeat in 1895. President Cleveland appointed him Post- 
master General. He is credited with the establishment of rural free de- 
livery and the introduction of the private penny postcard. With the 
conclusion of Cleveland’s second term, Wilson was not to be relegated 
to the Democratic shadows that accompanied a long Republican regime. 
Accordingly, he accepted the presidency of Washington and Lee Uni- 
versity. He died October 17, 1900, a victim of tuberculosis. He was one 
of the truly great alumni of the College. 13 

In discussing the College, it is easy to overlook the role played by the 
Preparatory School during the post-War period. The school enjoyed 
generous patronage and its enrollment always exceeded that of the Col- 
lege. Its burgeoning income from tuition was a major addition to the 
institution’s finances. A normal channel for admission to Columbian Col- 
lege and preparation for other colleges, the preparatory course was also 
a terminal course for many youths who intended not to enter one of the 
professions but to pursue banking, mercantile, or other careers. No public 
secondary education was available in the District, and Columbian Prepara- 
tory School met the need, at least for a limited group. There was a con- 
stant concern on the part of the Trustees and faculty to add to the school 
as many worthy and gifted youths from the public schools as possible, 
by means of scholarships paid through the school fund, special endow- 
ments of the College, or the liberality of individuals. The courses in the 
Preparatory School and the College were integrated so that qualified prep 
students could anticipate degree requirements by talcing single courses 
in the College. The work was carefully supervised and the standard of 

Reconstruction, 1865-1871 155 

instruction was high. From 1861 to 1884, the principal of the Preparatory 
School was Otis T. Mason, A.B. 1861, who served the College later as 
professor of anthropology and Trustee after he had become curator of 
ethnology in the U.S. National Museum. He achieved great distinction 
through his researches on the American Indian and his epoch-making 
ideas about the classification of primitive implements. 14 

When Dr. Samson assumed the duties of president, the College was 
about to arrive at its peak enrollment, only to have the student body 
melt away almost completely with the coming of war. As we have seen, 
the War, for the period of its duration, virtually transformed College 
Hill into a military installation. In that confused setting President Samson 
attempted, with the assistance of a skeleton faculty, to carry on the busi- 
ness of instruction. Circumstances forced him to be president, professor, 
and business manager all at once in these abnormal conditions. He 
solicited, received, and disbursed funds. During the greater part of the 
War period he was conducting fifteen class periods a week. Problems 
arose with frequency, decisions had to be made, and action taken without 
delay. A strong, positive man was needed and Samson was just that. 

The conditions that prevailed at the end of his administration should 
not have been unexpected. They can best be understood by noting first 
a series of communications between the Board of Trustees and President 
Samson. On April 13, 1870, the president presented his resignation to the 
Board. He gave four reasons for his action. His term of office had already 
reached the limit “beyond which his most efficient predecessors had 
declined to go.” His own small property had been exhausted; and his 
salary, drawn from the academic fund, was out of proportion to the 
services rendered by others. With the Law and Medical Departments in 
their own buildings, and with the oversight of the former now separated 
from the duties of the president, the functions of his office could be 
performed by someone less dependent on the income he would receive 
as president. There was a great need for a suitable building for the library, 
and apparatus and funds had to be sought. The principal donors had 
been the former and present presidents of the Board. Some wills with 
favorable bequests had been written, but he had no distinct donors in 

Unwilling to accept this resignation, the Board tried to make proposals 
which would, in part, remove the president’s reasons for relinquishing 
his office. His salary was increased to $2,500, a building would be erected 
as soon as there were any chances for its successful funding, and the 

Bricks Without Straw 


president was asked to give his time as agent for six months, with salary 
and expenses. These offers were made May 24, 1870. 

In his reply to the Board just a week later, on May 31, Samson wrote 
at length because he feared that the Board did not fully understand the 
background of his action. In a way that none of his predecessors had 
ever done, he cited the history of the College to put his position in the 
proper setting: 

Your first President compelled to assume an agency, saw the College decline, 
and his administration lasted about five years. The second and third gave 
practical attention to the finances, were each favored with able agents and 
both held their positions during terms of about eleven years. The fourth 
secured efficient aid from members of the Board, but was aided by no agent 
and his office terminated in three years with a debt accumulated solely for 
salaries of instruction amounting to about $9,000. Instructed by this example, 
the efforts of the fifth President were devoted to secure a scale of improvement 
graduated by the income of the College: his strength being given to the 
immediate work of instruction and his leisure to finances. Before the War, 
improvements were steadily made, the salaries were promptly paid and a 
small surplus in the Treasury was every year secured. During the War, the 
improvements ceased, but the debt was all paid off, while the Faculty were 
also promptly paid. Since the War so large attention has been given to 
improvements that too large a proportion of the income has been devoted 
to these, and thus withdrawn from the first necessity, the small salaries of 
the Faculty which is their only dependence. In this the President has made 
it a point of honor and duty to share the inconveniences to which all the 
Faculty have been subjected. If the President serves as agent it would be 
detrimental to all departments. The Agent should be directly responsible to 
the Board. 

The president’s mind was unchanged. He ended his letter: “I am unable 
to reach at present the decision they have asked.” 

Still the Board did not act on the resignation, but appointed as agent 
the Reverend A. D. Gillette, D.D., Professor of Pastoral Duties in the 
Theological Department, when a sum sufficient for its endowment had 
been raised. Gillette was meanwhile to act with President Samson, giv- 
ing his entire time as agent and receiving as compensation a commission 
of 5 per cent. In assigning the agent’s duties, the Board evidently still 
had in mind the complaints the president had set forth in his letters of 
resignation and explanation. Funds were to be collected to liquidate the 
liabilities of the academic department, to erect an academic building, and 
to complete a fund for the endowment of the president’s office and for 
a chair in the Theological Department. 

Reconstruction , 1865-1871 737 

Anxious not “to shrink,” Samson withdrew his resignation in his An- 
nual Report on June 27, 1870. 

By the time the annual meeting of the Board in 1871 rolled around, 
attitudes had stiffened. Samson looked back “on a year of labor too 
severe to be continued.” Up to this time the Minutes of the Board had 
been kept without showing any indication of disagreement. In fact, the 
Minutes of the meetings of April 13, May 24, and May 31, 1870, were 
not entered in the Journal until after Samson’s resignation was withdrawn. 
The Minutes for the Annual Meeting in 1871 show a marked air of 
determination. It was recommended that all agents’ commissions be can- 
celed and immediate reports called for; that no contracts be made unless 
authorized by the Board just elected; that a committee of four Trustees 
be appointed to investigate and report on a schedule of property, debts 
and liability, the condition of the College buildings and their contents, 
and also of the Law building; that a statement be made regarding College 
laws and ordinances, the character of the catalogue — whether accurate 
or not — and necessary changes in the Charter, laws, and ordinances. 
Every one of those elected to the Board who had not signified his ac- 
ceptance in writing before the next meeting of the Board was to be 
considered as having declined. All attorneys having in hand papers, prop- 
erty, and business of the College were to report to the Board through 
the secretary. All tenants were to pay rents in full at once. No copies 
of the 1870-1871 catalogue were to be circulated until further action. 
The recommended committee of four Trustees was appointed to take 
over the functions assigned to it and was given both access to all records 
and the power to call for any information. No action was taken on the 
president’s Annual Report at this time; but on July 12, more than two 
weeks later, the president was instructed to strike from it all matters not 
relating to his duties and acts as president. He and Dr. Gillette were 
notified that their agencies were terminated, and final reports were called 
for. No catalogue was to be printed, no printing or advertising was to 
be done, and the recently prepared catalogue was not to be published. 

Ten days later, on July 22, 1871, President Samson’s revised report 
was presented and his resignation was accepted, his salary to continue to 
the end of the vacation. The Board assured him of its “sincere respect, 
warm affection, and hearty desire for his welfare and happiness.” Neither 
the final Annual Report nor the revised report appears in the Minutes 
of the Board. 15 

President Samson’s own draft of the original Annual Report for 1871 

Bricks Without Straw 


was in his personal papers. This report was comprehensive in its scope. 
It discussed current trends with reference to the elective system and to 
scientific instruction in American colleges. Reasons for Columbian’s de- 
cline in reputation were discussed, particularly with reference to the 
condition of the buildings and an inadequate faculty. Difficulties in finan- 
cial management and division of responsibilities were very pointedly in- 
dicated. Under the headings of “Improvement of Real Estate,” “Debts 
Incurred and Methods of Meeting,” and “Legacies,” he gave an account 
of his stewardship. The section on the “President as Agent” pointed out 
the difficulty of his dual position. “Future Demands of the College” listed 
major needs, and “Matters Personal to the President” ended with his 
final resignation. 

It is difficult to understand why the administration of President Samson 
closed so ambiguously. The answer is to be found in his conception of 
the presidency, in his own ideas as to priority, in the enormity of the 
tasks he had to perform, and in the special problems facing a college 
that was developing into a university. 

The Charter of 1821 provided “that the head or the chief master for 
the said college shall be called and styled ‘the president,’ and the masters 
thereof should be called ‘professors and tutors,’ ” and that neither, while 
they remained such, should be eligible for the office of Trustee. The 
president, professors, and tutors were styled “the faculty of the college,” 
which was empowered to enforce rules and regulations governing stu- 
dents, to grant degrees on the mandamus of the Board, and to issue proper 
diplomas or certificates in evidence thereof. 16 

The president was thus the head of the faculty, and his Charter powers 
were simply those that devolved upon him in this connection. President 
Samson was always careful, in his communications to the Board dealing 
with academic matters, to observe this particular relationship. He was a 
teaching president and the functions of his office in this regard were 
particularly congenial to him. He insisted upon sharing with his faculty 
colleagues when funds were not available for full and prompt payment 
of salaries. Educational recommendations to the Board were made in the 
name of the faculty. Acting as a schoolmaster involved no pose on Sam- 
son’s part. He was well trained and well traveled. He knew intimately 
the history of Columbian College and wrote and thought with that back- 
ground in view. Though an accomplished pulpit orator, fired with great 
evangelical fervor, his educational writings and communications are 

Reconstruction, 1865-1871 159 

written as a lay educator would write them. They are not crowded with 
pious platitudes or laden with Scriptural allusions. Samson was prepared 
to serve as president within the Charter definition. 

The times, however, were to deny him the luxury of serving as such. 
Other duties were forced upon him in administrative, financial, and pro- 
motional areas. Still he insisted on the priority of matters academic, both 
in his own activities and in the allocation of the College’s interest and 
meager funds. The prompt and full payment of the faculty, in his 
judgment, took priority over all other expenditures. Providing adequate 
facilities for instruction followed as a close second. 

These matters academic, basically so agreeable to him, represented a 
full-time assignment. But circumstances added other assignments, less 
congenial and more arduous. His college plant had become a military 
installation, even though instruction was still being given to the students 
who remained. When it seemed desirable to dispense with the services of 
the Reverend Joseph Hammitt as agent, the full responsibilities of that 
post fell upon the president, who became in effect business manager, 
solicitor of funds and students, and collector of pledges. This was in 
addition to his presidential duties and his fifteen class sessions a week. 
It settled down to a killing schedule, one in which Samson was at the 
College from Monday to Friday and in the field on his work as agent 
from late Friday to early Monday each week. In spite of his desires and 
to the detriment of his health, he had had to assume practically the entire 
burden of academic and financial administration. 

Samson had protested, but the War prevented any easing of the load. 
When it ended, a business agent was appointed to take over the duties 
of registrar and steward, and was ordered to report directly to the chair- 
men of the appropriate committees of the Board. This appointment was 
made ostensibly to relieve Samson of some of his burden on College Hill 
so as to permit him to push his agency more actively. The president saw 
that a division of responsibilities had been created and he pointed out that 
the registrar and steward should be subject to his supervision, but the 
Board ignored his recommendation. Thus he saw appropriations being 
made for physical improvement and faculty salaries going unpaid. 

Added to this erosion of the president’s powers on College Hill, there 
was the question of the Law School. When the rules were drawn up for 
the conduct of the school, the president was made lecturer on ethics. He 
was given no other specific function, the Law Department actually 


Bricks Without Straw 

being operated by the Trustees’ Committee on the Law Department 
through its Law faculty. The Medical Department had always been 
autonomous to a large degree. 

The real situation was that a true university was beginning to take 
form. The time was running out when a president of the College, whose 
function was close to that of a dean today, could handle a group of 
schools in a more or less detailed fashion. It was unfortunate that the 
War period had so vastly increased the duties and the reach of the presi- 
dent. It made what followed seem very drastic and an affront to a man 
who had performed herculean labors for the institution. 

The Board’s insistence that Samson continue the agency was perhaps 
his prime reason for his resignation. If the Trustees had lightened his 
burden by appointing an agent rather than by administrative circumven- 
tion, he might have decided differently. Of one thing he was certain. 
The whole history of the College demonstrated that no president could 
serve without an efficient agent, and hope for success. 

President Samson’s administration was a difficult one. The nation ex- 
perienced a civil war, and the College was in the midst of it. But the 
College was also in the beginning of an age of transition, during which 
the institution underwent momentous change. Two years before the 
close of the Samson administration, Mr. W. W. Corcoran, Washington’s 
most distinguished citizen and one of the institution’s most liberal patrons, 
became president of the Board. It called as Samson’s successor the emi- 
nent scholar and public man, Dr. James C. Welling. 

Without the dedication, intelligence, and industry of George White- 
field Samson, Columbian College might have been a casualty of the War 
of 1861-1865. 


The Age of Welling 


T he great achievements of President Samson had been to pay off 
the debt incurred during the administration of his predecessor, to 
keep the College alive and maintain its dignity during the War, to provide 
housing for its various departments, and to lay the basis for a full resump- 
tion of its activities. Like Moses, he had led it over a troubled journey, 
but another man was to lead it into the Promised Land. The imminence 
of change was evident in much of Samson’s policy: the College was 
bound to become a university. The transition was made by a peculiarly 
happy partnership of the president and the head of the University Cor- 
poration who, working closely together, provided the educational lead- 
ership, the vision and practical sense, and the financial support that were 

W. W. Corcoran, the District’s most distinguished citizen, already a 
major benefactor of the College, was elected president of the Board of 
Trustees on November 30, 1869, to succeed the late Amos Kendall. On 
August 11, 1871, James Clarke Welling, Professor of Belles Lettres in 
Princeton University, formally accepted the office of president of Colum- 
bian College. In a sense, President Samson’s resignation — offered, then 
withdrawn, and again submitted — had been pending since April 13 of the 
preceding year. 

Just a short time before President Welling’s election, the Legislative 
Assembly of the District of Columbia, at the request of the Trustees, 
passed on July 25, 1871, “An Act for the relief of Columbian College, 
in the District of Columbia.” Since an act approved January 21, 1871, 



Bricks Without Straw 

had vested executive power in the District in an appointed governor, 
and legislative power in an elected legislative assembly, it was the terri- 
torial legislature that passed the act of July 25, 1871. By it the original 
Charter was amended to permit the College to apply the proceeds from 
any sale of its property to pay off existing indebtedness and to put its 
property and equipment in good condition. To replace the existing Board 
of Trustees, the act created a corporation of the College. Its members 
were to be elected by the Trustees chosen in May, 1871, and were to 
consist of thirteen Trustees, residents of the District of Columbia, and 
thirteen Overseers. The president of the Corporation and its secretary- 
treasurer were to be selected from the Trustees. The Corporation was to 
meet annually; the Trustees semi-annually, quarterly, monthly, and occa- 
sionally as required. The creation of a Board of Overseers, whose members 
would be relieved from the obligation to attend any except the annual 
meetings, provided a means for relating to the College influential men 
living outside the District. 1 

While no real estate or other property could be sold by the Trustees 
without the vote of the Corporation, other routine matters could be 
handled by the Trustees; since by the provisions of the act they were 
residents of the District they would be available for meetings at any time. 
Administrative efficiency was thus achieved by this modification of the 

The President of the United States, the Chief Justice of the United 
States, the Attorney General, the Governor of the District of Columbia, 
and the Delegate of the District of Columbia were made honorary mem- 
bers of the Corporation, without vote. 2 

President Welling had been in touch with his predecessor, and the 
thoroughness of his briefing is shown by the fact that his force was 
immediately felt. Accompanying his letter of acceptance was another 
communication demonstrating this fact very clearly. He stated flatly that 
he did not desire to be charged with the financial administration of the 
institution, that he would give his first attention to the internal adminis- 
tration of the College. As a move toward economy, the Board had failed 
to reappoint two professors. This, said Welling, would work injuriously 
to the standards of instruction. He asked and got an additional tutor in 
mathematics and an instructor in French, and salary increases for Profes- 
sor Huntington and Professor Shute. The new president lacked nothing 
by way of directness in dealing with his Board. When requests that re- 
pairs be made to make the president’s house more livable had not been 

* 43 

The Age of Welling, 187 1-1894 

complied with, he wrote: “The many inconveniences to which I have 
been subjected at the threshold of my administration induce me to request 
that the ceremonies connected with my inauguration be postponed to as 
late a period as practical during the coming month.” 3 The repairs were 

Because of Mr. Corcoran’s uncertain health, Judge John A. Bolles was 
elected vice president of the Board so that a presiding officer would 
always be available. A committee of five was appointed to inform Mr. 
Corcoran of this arrangement and to say that they would be glad to 
confer with him regarding such a plan as might be deemed wise and 
expedient for converting Columbian College into a national university 
bearing his name. After consideration, Mr. Corcoran very graciously 
declined the honor and suggested the name “The Columbian University.” 4 

The inauguration of the sixth president was held on Monday, Novem- 
ber 6, 1871, in the Congregational Church at Tenth and G Streets; a large 
and distinguished company was present. Prayer was offered by the 
Reverend James A. Cuthbert; Dr. Samson delivered his farewell address; 
the choir sang an ode written for the occasion by the Reverend Stephen 
P. Hill; the vice president handed the keys to President Welling, who 
then delivered his address. The Reverend Cleland K. Nelson pronounced 
the benediction. Mr. Corcoran was present but was unable to participate 
physically. 5 

At the first annual meeting of the newly constituted Corporation, 
W. W. Corcoran was elected president, William Stickney secretary and 
treasurer, and John A. Bolles vice president. By ordinance the names of 
the various branches of the College were fixed as follows: the Preparatory 
School of Columbian College, Columbian College, the Law School of 
Columbian College, and the Medical School of Columbian College. 

In 1872, on the recommendation of the Medical faculty the degree of 
Graduate in Pharmacy was for the first time conferred upon six young 
men who had completed a regular apprenticeship in the drug and apothe- 
cary business and also attended two full courses in pharmacy. The degree 
of Bachelor of Philosophy was replaced by the degrees of Bachelor of 
Letters and Bachelor of Science. A bequest from the estate of the Rev- 
erend Romeo Elton, amounting to $8,742.88, was gratefully accepted as 
a basis for the endowment of the Elton Professorship of Mental and 
Moral Philosophy. At the same time another proffered gift was gracefully 
declined. 6 

Mrs. Maria M. Carter, who had previously subscribed $1,000 to found 

1 44 

Bricks Without Straw 

a scholarship for some deserving young man, had offered, through Presi- 
dent Samson, a gift of $5,000, the income from which was to provide for 
the tuition of female students. In her letter of July 31, 1871, Mrs. Carter 
had proclaimed her conviction: “I am unable to see why the influence 
of women may not be profitably transferred through the austere forms 
of the Collegiate recitation room.” Dr. Samson thought that Mrs. Carter’s 
wishes could be “indirectly met in Columbian College.” Just how was 
not specified, but the intending donor was thanked for her kindness in 
making the offer. For eight months the matter waited for a decision from 
the Trustees. Finally the Board decided that it was “not deemed expedient 
to accept the proposition of Mrs. M. M. Carter until some plan can be 
fixed upon for the kindly proffered donation to the education of women.” 
Coeducation must wait. 7 

While President Welling had been careful to stipulate that he was not 
to be burdened with financial administration but was to be concerned 
with the internal affairs of the institution, his plans for development 
obviously required funds of a size hitherto unknown to the College. Flere 
is where his partnership with W. W. Corcoran, the president of the 
Corporation, was valuable. 

William Wilson Corcoran was bom in Georgetown in 1798, the son 
of Thomas Corcoran, a Charter Trustee of Columbian College. Engaged 
in mercantile affairs in his native town during his early life, after 1828 
he became more and more involved in banking activities, and in 1 844, in 
partnership with George W. Riggs, he bought the old Bank of United 
States. His firm carried the burden of handling the heavy loans made by 
the government in the Mexican War. In August, 1848, with $12,000,000 
worth of a 6 per cent loan of 1848 on hand, with the demand steadily 
falling below what Corcoran and Riggs had paid, Corcoran went to 
London, in spite of efforts to dissuade him, and sold a substantial amount 
of the stock, raising the market price to 11914 and making a handsome 
profit. In 1854, he withdrew from the firm and retired from active affairs. 
He was already over seventy when he became a Trustee and president 
of the Board. His health was uncertain and he was frequently unable to 
attend meetings or, if present, to preside. But his interest in the institution 
and his close knowledge of its affairs continued to the end of his life. 
This was not the only educational institution that profited by his gener- 
osity. William and Mary College, the University of Virginia, and Virginia 
Military Institute also knew him as a benefactor. In the city of Washing- 
ton, Mr. Corcoran established and endowed the Corcoran Gallery of Art 

The Age of Welling, 1871-1894 145 

and its school, the Oak Hill Cemetery, and the Louise Home for gentle- 

At a special meeting on October 7, 1872, the Corporation, at Welling’s 
suggestion, resolved that an effort be made to increase the permanent 
endowment to $250,000. Two months later it was reported to the Board 
that Mr. Corcoran had proposed the donation “of a very valuable tract 
of land, called ‘Trinidad,’ ” adjoining the city limits. In a letter to the 
Trustees, the donor spelled out his conditions. The gift of Trinidad was 
in no way to cause any relaxation in the efforts to raise the $250,000 
endowment; the principal of the donation when realized was to be 
funded and kept forever intact, and Dr. Welling was to remain at the 
head of the College. To further Mr. Corcoran’s intent, if $100,000 of the 
$250,000 were not raised in cash by January 1, 1875, or if for any reason, 
other than death, Dr. Welling should cease to be president, the donation 
of Trinidad would be revoked. The Trustees immediately took steps 
toward a change of name, resolved on the introduction of courses in 
agriculture and mechanical arts as a basis for a request for a land grant, 
and decided to maintain a “Corcoran School of Science and Art” with 
the income from the Trinidad gift. The aid of the Smithsonian Institution 
and other scientific organizations was to be sought in setting up the 
Corcoran School. Authorization was given to move the Preparatory 
School and any of the collegiate departments to within the City. Certain 
changes in the Charter were to be sought from Congress. 8 

The legal change of name from Columbian College in the District of 
Columbia to Columbian University was effected by an act of Congress 
approved March 3, 1873. By this legislation, which supplemented the 
original Charter of 1821, the name of the institution was changed, the 
limit on an annual value of $25,000 of the Corporation’s property was 
removed, and the number of Trustees was increased to twenty-one and 
the number of Overseers to twenty-one, exclusive of the president of the 
faculty, who was made an ex officio Trustee of the Corporation. The 
act of the territorial assembly, approved July 25, 1871, was affirmed, but 
with a stated restriction prohibiting the sale of any land granted by 
Congress or of real estate given by any person or persons for use other 
than that provided for in the Charter, legislative act, will, devise, or grant 
governing the gift. 9 

This piece of legislation was of great importance. For the first time, 
it made the president of the institution a member of the governing board. 
It looked forward to the creation of a true university endowment without 

Bricks Without Straw 


legal limit as to size but protected by law from use for any purpose other 
than that specifically stated by the donor. These changes were made by 
the Congress as a result of recommendations made to the Board by Dr. 

The supplemental act of Congress was formally accepted by the Cor- 
poration on March 31, 1873, and on May 24 of that year the beginning 
of a new era in the life of the institution under its new name, the Colum- 
bian University, was formally celebrated by a gala banquet at Wormley’s 
Hotel at Fifteenth and H Streets. This hotel, owned and operated by a 
Negro, William Wormley, was one of the most exclusive in the city and 
was famous throughout the nation for its extraordinary cuisine. 

The assembled company was one of great distinction, including Presi- 
dent Grant and his Cabinet, members of the diplomatic corps, senior 
officers of the armed services, and eminent scholars. The response to the 
first toast, “The Columbian University,” gave President Welling an op- 
portunity to explain the university movement and its relation to Wash- 
ington as a great educational center. The Attorney General, George H. 
Williams, spoke for legal education; the Secretary of the Smithsonian 
Institution, Professor Joseph Henry, for science; Charles Astor Bristed, 
for the classics; William Beach Lawrence, for jurisprudence; and the 
French Minister, the Marquis de Noailles, for “the Communion of Schol- 
ars in the Republic of Letters.” 10 

President Welling had now established a legal basis for the presidency 
which gave him the setup he desired and which clearly reflected a resolve 
to protect against the situation that had harassed his predecessor at the 
end of his administration. 

The University at once made an effort, through the appointment of an 
agent, to collect the $100,000 toward the $250,000 endowment fund by 
January 1, 1875, to secure the Corcoran gift of Trinidad. Although its 
efforts yielded $103,381 in cash and pledges, less than the required 
$100,000 was in cash. Welling acknowledged that technically the gift 
had been forfeited, but was correct in expressing the view that so inter- 
ested was Mr. Corcoran that he would accept what had been done “as 
an earnest of our ultimate triumph.” Mr. Corcoran made a further sub- 
scription of $4,000, payable when the $100,000 cash was in hand, and paid 
$2,000 on account. The full sum not being realized, the remaining $2,000 
was not paid. Mr. Corcoran, however, deeded Trinidad over to the 
University as part of the endowment. It was sold for $85,000, plus $20,000 
to quiet some outstanding claims. With the donor’s acquiescence, $10,000 

The Age of Welling, 1871-1894 147 

of this sum was “borrowed temporarily” to pay for the equipment of the 
new Corcoran Scientific School. In 1886, Mr. Corcoran made a further 
gift of $25,000 to the Corcoran Fund, as the new endowment was desig- 
nated. 11 

The time selected by President Welling and the Corporation for mak- 
ing a determined effort to raise a real endowment was a propitious one. 
On June 24, 1873, the treasurer had reported that the institution was free 
from debt, $33,000 on that account having been paid during the two 
preceding years. This was the time to go ahead. 12 

Just as the old College was expanding into the new University, the 
greatest of its teachers passed from the active scene. At the end of 1873, 
Professor William Ruggles asked to be relieved of the duties of his chair 
and they were temporarily assumed by President Welling. Appointed a 
tutor in 1822, Ruggles had been a member of the faculty for more than 
a half-century and had served three times as acting president. 13 Four 
years after his retirement he died on September 10, 1877, at Schooley’s 
Mountain, New Jersey. 14 

On April 25, 1873, by the authority of the Executive Committee of 
the Board of Trustees, a statement called “Plan of the Columbian Uni- 
versity” was issued, with the request that all persons interested in the 
enterprise communicate with President Welling or any member of the 
Executive Committee. This was probably the first draft of Welling’s 
“University Idea.” 

The first project mentioned in the document was the foundation of a 
School of Science bearing Corcoran’s name, and a “Polytechnic School.” 
Great emphasis was placed on the availability for use in scientific educa- 
tion of the personnel and the apparatus of the many government estab- 
lishments here. “In so far as these national establishments may be utilized 
for educational purposes, they constitute a vast permanent endowment, 
worth many millions of dollars, but costing nothing in the use that is 
thus made of them.” The School of Science was to furnish instruction 
in these branches: 

1. A course in mathematics, mechanics, and astronomy; 

2. A course in physics; 

3. A course in chemistry and metallurgy; 

4. A course in natural history (zoology and botany); 

5. A course in physical geography, meteorology, geology and paleon- 

6. A course in ethnology, archeology, and anthropology. 

Bricks Without Straw 

It was hoped that this School of Science would have available, through 
Mr. Corcoran’s benevolence, an endowment of $200,000 yielding “at the 
lowest” $12,000 annually. This sum plus the revenue from tuition fees 
would not be adequate for the establishment of such a school in any city 
other than Washington. The equipment available from government 
laboratories and the wealth of scientific learning represented by govern- 
ment personnel from which teachers could be drawn would make such a 
school possible there. 

The Polytechnic School would furnish special practical instruction in 
at least the following: 

1. A course in surveying; 

2. A course in civil engineering proper, or the science of construc- 

3. A course in dynamical engineering or the science of machinery; 

4. A course in agricultural chemistry. 

To these would be added, as the crowning adornment of the Univer- 
sity, a School of the Fine Arts, embracing architecture, sculpture, and 
painting. The resources of the Corcoran Gallery of the Fine Arts would 
be available for use in the same way that government establishments 
would be utilized in scientific instruction. The work of each of these 
schools would not be tightly compartmentalized, but in every way pos- 
sible each was to be auxiliary to the other. The same would apply to the 
relations between the recommended new schools and the College. If the 
recommendations were carried out, the University would consist of 
the following “distinct but confederated departments: the Preparatory 
School, the College proper, the Scientific School, the Polytechnic 
School, the Medical School, the Law School, and the School of Fine 
Arts.” 15 

When the administration came to implementing these recommenda- 
tions, consideration was given first to the projected Scientific School. 
Attention to scientific instruction was by no means a new concern of 
the institution. Among the first faculty inducted into office on January 
9, 1822, had been Josiah Meigs, Professor of Experimental Philosophy; 
and two members of the Medical faculty who were given appointments 
in the College before medical instruction began, Dr. Thomas Sewall, 
Professor of Anatomy and Physiology, and Dr. James M. Staughton, 
Professor of Chemistry and Geology. At the same time that he was pur- 
chasing a library in Europe, Professor Staughton was acquiring “philo- 

The Age of Welling, 1811-1894 149 

sophical apparatus,” and in 1823 he sent back on the Electra instruments 
valued in excess of 400 pounds. 

The original requirements for the first degree in arts had included 
considerable study of mathematics in the first two years: algebra, loga- 
rithms, geometry, trigonometry, conic sections, and the Elements of 
Euclid, with such practical courses as mensuration, surveying, and navi- 
gation. The junior year called for “natural philosophy,” astronomy, 
chemistry, and fluxions, and in the senior year there was more natural 

In 1853, the faculty had formally recommended to the Board, through 
President Bacon, that a scientific course distinct from the classical one 
be set up. The sciences were to be put in a regular department, instruction 
in which, with English and mathematical studies, would form the back- 
bone of a three-year course leading to a special degree. Instruction in 
the natural sciences was to be extended, and some attention was to be 
given to engineering. With this expansion in mind, a committee under- 
took a survey of the College’s existing facilities. They found the library 
almost completely wanting in treatises in all branches of science, and in 
need of additional space. A newly received gift was appropriated for the 
improvement of the library. The committee reported the scientific ap- 
paratus as of superior quality and in good shape, but they felt that further 
provision must be made for chemistry, geology, and botany. At Com- 
mencement in 1853, the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws was con- 
ferred upon Matthew Fontaine Maury, the great oceanographer. In July, 
1853, the faculty was authorized to set up the schedule of instruction 
for a three-year scientific course leading to the degree of Bachelor of 
Philosophy. Five members of the class of 1854 were graduated and re- 
ceived the new degree. The degree of Bachelor of Philosophy was abol- 
ished in 1872 and the degrees of Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of 
Letters (B.L.) were substituted for it. 16 At the time of this change in 
degree designation, discussion of a new scientific school was already 
under way. 

A committee of five was appointed “to consider the best practical 
course of instruction [in the proposed Scientific School], to correspond 
with eminent teachers and lecturers, and to report to the Corporation, 
as soon as possible, the details of such a course, and the probable expenses 
of each department. That said committee also report upon the expediency 
of making the compensation of each professor depend, in part at least, 

Bricks Without Straw 


upon the number of his pupils; and also if some of the advantages of such 
a course cannot be made available to women.” President Welling was 
chairman of the committee; among its members was the eminent scientist, 
John Wesley Powell. 

The committee brought in an elaborate report. In order that such a 
school may fulfill its theory and mission in all directions, it was recom- 
mended that instruction be offered in the following departments: English, 
modern languages, mathematics, physics, chemistry, metallurgy, civil, 
mining, mechanical, and topographical engineering, geology, biology, 
drawing and architecture, and philosophy, including pedagogy. Not all 
of these departments would be started at once, but as demand indicated 
and the straitened resources of the University permitted. Certificates of 
proficiency would be given if only a partial course of study was taken. 
For completion of the studies in any department, a corresponding degree, 
such as Civil Engineer or Mining Engineer, would be granted; for com- 
pletion of studies in a number of confederated departments, proper de- 
grees such as Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Philosophy would be 
granted. Although outside of the areas referred to the committee, “as a 
fitting complement to the foregoing scheme of studies” the future estab- 
lishment of a School of Political Science was recommended, with a course 
of studies running at least through two years and leading to the degree 
of Doctor of Philosophy. 

It was proposed that the question of the admission of women should 
“not be decided by a hard and fast line, but that the faculty of each 
school should make the determination with the approval of the Corpora- 
tion.” This was felt desirable because the faculties of the Scientific School, 
the Medical School, and the Law School depended on the income of 
those schools for their salaries. The College was excluded from this gen- 
eral procedure; the decision as to the admission of women remained in 
the hands of the Corporation, to be made “in its own wisdom.” 

As to the salaries in the Scientific, Law, and Medical Schools, the com- 
mittee made no further suggestions. These schools were “administrated 
by night,” and in the main the teaching was done by instructors gainfully 
employed during the day. With the president and the College faculty, 
the situation was different. All their working hours had to be given to the 
College. If any one of the other units did not produce revenue adequate 
for its maintenance or if no general fund could be raised to make up the 
deficit necessary to pay professors or officers who gave their whole time 

The Age of Welling, 1811-1894 191 

to their duties, “it would only remain for the Corporation to suspend such 
department, School, or College.” 

To provide furniture, fixtures, apparatus, and supplies for the conduct 
of a scientific school, an aggregate expenditure of $25,000 was roughly 
estimated. Since the Scientific School would use at night the same quarters 
the College used during the day, no additional quarters would be required. 
In drawing plans for a new University building, it was earnestly recom- 
mended that provision be made for an assembly hall, holding five or six 
hundred, that could serve as a meeting place for scientific societies and as 
a hall for popular lectures. The committee asked for authorization to 
enter into discussion with eminent men of science to see how many would 
be willing to join in the enterprise for a contingent share in the fees of the 
school. 17 

When the new University building on the southeast comer of Fifteenth 
and H Streets was completed, there was issued a Prospectus of the Cor- 
coran School of Science and the Arts of the Columbian University, Wash- 
ington, D.C. (Washington, 1884), following closely the fines of the 
recommendations of 1881 and announcing that the exercises of the school 
would open on the first Wednesday in October, 1884. The dean was Ed- 
ward T. Fristoe, Professor of Chemistry, and the faculty included such 
famous scientists as Simon Newcomb (astronomy), Lester Frank Ward 
(botany), Theodore N. Gill (zoology), Otis T. Mason (anthropology), 
and Cleveland Abbe (meteorology). The Prospectus announced that for 
the accommodation of employed students, the exercises of the school 
would be held in the evening, between six and ten o’clock. The inaugural 
address was given by John W. Powell on October 1, 1884. It was an 
eloquent speech, surveying the whole field of human culture as evidence 
of the humanistic significance of science. 18 

Late in 1886, the Medical faculty made an earnest appeal to the Trustees 
for an addition to the Medical School building, offering to pay a sub- 
stantial amount of the carrying charge on the loan that would have to be 
made. Agreeing to pay 5 per cent interest and 2 !4 per cent into a sinking 
fund, the faculty was authorized to proceed with the planning of an 
addition on a lot to the rear, given by Mr. Corcoran, at a cost not to ex- 
ceed $10,000. At the next annual meeting of the Corporation, a Depart- 
ment of Dental Surgery, in connection with the Medical School, was 
authorized. In their communication to the Corporation, the Medical 
faculty expressed a desire for a closer connection with the governing body 


Bricks Without Straw 

of the University than in the past. The old surplus-sharing arrangement 
for salary was no longer working advantageously. During the past sixteen 
years the faculty had averaged less than $300 per year for each professor, 
although in 1885-1886 the share of each had been $600. 19 

In spite of negligible salaries, the Medical faculty, in addition to the 
$10,000 borrowed for the enlargement of the building, paid out of their 
own funds in excess of $2,000 for fitting the interior, providing gas 
fixtures, paying the architect’s fee, and obtaining apparatus for the new 
Dental School. 20 

President Welling had always been greatly interested in the establish- 
ment of a School of Politics and Jurisprudence. Committees appointed to 
consider the project had been discouraged by the low state of the Uni- 
versity’s finances. But President Welling did not give up. The appoint- 
ment to the Law faculty of Justice John M. Harlan, Associate Justice 
of the Supreme Court of the United States, as lecturer on constitutional 
law in 1889, and of his colleague Justice David J. Brewer as lecturer on 
the law of corporations in 1890, encouraged the president, no doubt, in 
believing that distinguished and learned public men could be enlisted to 
teach in a School of Comparative Jurisprudence. 

At its annual meeting in 1 890, the Corporation decided upon the estab- 
lishment of a school of jurisprudence and political and social science. In 
the fall of 1892, at a special meeting of the Board called at the president’s 
request, plans were discussed for “a still higher graduate school for the 
comprehensive and scientific study of the Comparative Jurisprudence of 
the world” to be established as an integral part of the University and to 
be begun in 1893-1894. In accordance with the Board’s instruction, the 
president had gone to Europe the preceding summer to consult with 
leading authorities. He had conferred with various British scholars, in- 
cluding Sir Frederick Pollock, and had arranged conferences with some 
of the outstanding scholars of the Continent, among them Professor Paul 
Vinogradoff, when the news of the untimely death of Professor Edward 
T. Fristoe, Dean of the Scientific Faculty, called him back to the Univer- 
sity. Dr. Welling had, however, engaged in a voluminous correspondence 
with scholars all over the world and had well-thought-out plans which 
the Board considered. 

Lectures in the School of Comparative Jurisprudence were to be held 
each day in the morning and afternoon and would be open to college 
students and to all others who could profit by them. The doctor’s degree 
in philosophy or laws was reserved for those with basic academic training, 

The Age of Welling, 1811-1894 153 

a reading knowledge of French and German, and at least two years of at- 
tendance at the lectures of the school. The studies of the first year could 
be taken in connection with the School of Practice, whose one-year 
course led to the master’s degree in law. In this way, the requirements for 
the bachelor’s and master’s degrees in law and the doctorate could be 
met in a minimum of four years. 

The president, Professor H. E. Davis, and the Trustees’ Committee on 
the Law School were designated as a group to raise funds or take such 
other steps as were necessary. If a surplus for the year 1893 permitted, 
$3,000 of this amount was to be appropriated for an extension of the 
work of the Law School in the direction of a School of Comparative 
Jurisprudence. 21 

Meanwhile, modest progress was being made by the Scientific School. 
Due largely to the ingenuity of the instructor, a new physics laboratory was 
equipped and made available. A mechanical engineering laboratory was 
authorized, to be paid for by contributions from the students, matched by 
personal contributions from members of the Board. The school was 
granted permission to set up a one-year graduate course for the Master of 
Science degree, and a three-year graduate course for the doctorate, a 
reading knowledge of French and German being required. The Graduate 
School was authorized to give the professional degrees in engineering and 
the Ph.D. degree in 1892. Under an earlier Board action, two Ph.D. 
degrees in course had been awarded in 1888 to members of the faculty, 
Andrew P. Montague and James Howard Gore, who had “pursued grad- 
uate studies far in excess of the requirements prescribed for the degree.” 22 

The appointment of Charles Edward Munroe, the eminent chief chemist 
of the Navy, as Professor of Chemistry in the College and the Scientific 
School to succeed Professor Fristoe brought to the University an out- 
standing scholar whose influence was felt immediately. The chemical 
laboratories were completely renovated and the work of the department 
fully reorganized. 23 Professor Munroe’s influence was equally apparent 
in the establishment and development of the School of Graduate Studies. 

Proceeding with the expansion of the University, President Welling, 
on March 14, 1893, reported to the Trustees in accordance with a resolu- 
tion adopted at the previous annual meeting of the Corporation concern- 
ing graduate study. That resolution had directed the faculties of the 
College, the Medical School, and the Corcoran Scientific School “to devise 
schemes of graduate studies in their respective departments, and to report 
the same to the Board of Trustees during the coming scholastic year.” The 

Bricks Without Straw 

1 54 

statement of the president, embodying the conclusions of the various 
faculties, was concerned primarily with the College and the Corcoran 
Scientific School. The status of the Law School had been previously 
determined by the Corporation; the Medical School lacked the proper 
laboratories for advanced scientific investigation. 

As to the problem of a staff, Welling noted the difficulty in asking dis- 
tinguished scholars to take posts on a graduate staff without the offer of 
adequate compensation. There had, however, been ready response to the 
University’s request and the president was able to recommend for 
addition to the faculty a slate of more than twenty, including several 
outstanding names: General A. W. Greely, the explorer (geography); 
Asaph Hall (higher mathematics); Harvey W. Wiley of Pure Food fame 
(chemistry); Cyrus Adler (Oriental history); and Frank W. Clarke 
(chemistry). A group consisting of President Welling, Dean Charles E. 
Munroe, and eleven senior professors was set up as “The Board of Direc- 
tors of Graduate Studies” to exercise the general functions of a faculty. 

The candidate for a master’s degree had to hold a bachelor’s degree 
from a reputable institution, spend at least a year in advanced study, pass 
a satisfactory examination, and present an acceptable thesis. A student 
holding a B.S. in Engineering could become a candidate for the degree of 
C.E. or E.E.; and upon the completion of a year in the advanced study of 
engineering, the passing of an examination, and the presentation of a 
satisfactory thesis, he could receive the degree. 

The candidate for the degree of Ph.D. had to hold a master’s degree in 
science or arts or the equivalent, and qualify in French and German. Three 
topics for advanced study were to be selected: one major subject and 
two collateral subjects in which the student had to pass a satisfactory ex- 
amination. Two years of study were required. A thesis embodying the 
results of research in the major field must be presented, printed, and 
successfully defended before a board of experts. 

Tuition fees were to be distributed and apportioned as in the Scientific 
School. Matriculation fees for graduate students were to constitute a 
fund for the payment of clerks. 24 

President Welling looked upon the School of Graduate Studies with 
special pride. To him it was the capstone of the educational structure he 
had sketched when he came to the presidency and had worked toward 
unceasingly. In speaking to the Corporation at its annual meeting in 1893, 
he recalled that this last important act of his administration brought to 

The Age of Welling, 187 1-1894 1 55 

fruition an idea that was almost as old as the College itself. It was, he said, 
“only just to say that the seminal idea of such a school for the propagation 
of advanced learning dates almost from the origin of the institution. As 
early as the year 1822, Luther Rice, who deserves to be held in lasting 
memory as the ‘Founder of Columbian College,’ had projected an ‘an- 
nex’ to the College to be called the ‘Philosophical Department’ in which 
special provision should be made for the cultivation of ‘advanced studies’ 
beyond the limits of the ordinary college curriculum.” He pointed out 
that the idea had been formally approved in 1823 when a circular letter 
was sent to all officers in the armed forces asking assistance in collecting 
illustrative materials and specimens for instruction. Unfortunately the 
financial embarrassment of 1827 postponed the project. It had now been 
realized. A public reception of the Graduate Faculty on May 25, 1893, 
was attended by fifteen hundred guests. In the following fall, President 
Welling, although then in uncertain health, formally inaugurated the 
school. 25 

These many changes in educational organization and in the expansion 
of the institution’s offerings represented the first of the major achievements 
of President Welling. It is perhaps necessary to point out that along 
with them went a definite change in the character of the student body. 
The Preparatory School and Columbian College remained as they had 
been, giving their full time to education. Every one of the other depart- 
ments was designed by the arrangement of its schedule of instruction to 
make its offerings available, and in some cases primarily available, to those 
who had regular employment and pursued courses in the late afternoon 
and evening. 

The second of the major accomplishments of the Welling administration 
was to move from College Hill and to group all the departments of the 
University in the heart of the city. As has been said, there had been many 
serious discussions, extending over decades, before College Hill was 
abandoned. Financial need invariably precipitated these discussions. As 
early as 1855, a committee of the Board had been appointed to consider 
the expediency of subdividing and selling a portion of the College 
grounds. No action was taken. Four years later even more serious con- 
sideration was given to selling off the southern portion of the grounds 
without subdivision. Again, no action was taken. During the War the 
Quartermaster General raised the question of the purchase of College 
Hill by the government. President Samson saw some virtue in the pro- 

Bricks Without Straw 


posal but did not encourage it. In 1865, however, he had prepared a plat 
of the south grounds, looking toward the sale of this major parcel. A plan 
for leasing individual plots was presented. 

The War had given the College a brief period of relative freedom from 
financial worry. The College’s expenses had been cut to the bone and 
the rental paid by the government yielded a steady income. As soon as 
the War was over and the College began to resume its full activities, 
deficits again began to accumulate. By herculean effort the institution 
was able to free itself from debt in 1873. Unfortunately, this was merely 
a repetition of past history in which deficits had been the rule. By extreme 
effort they would be paid off and there would be a breathing spell. The 
effort, however, was never successful in building up a reserve or creating 
an effective endowment. Deficits would begin to pile up again, and so 
it went. Time after time proposals were made to sell off unproductive land 
held by the College. Money was tight in the 1870’s and sales at advanta- 
geous prices were hard to make. 

The Law School during the first decade after its revival had been self- 
sustaining and generally revenue-producing. However, at a special meet- 
ing of the Board in 1875, the president had to report that the first rush 
of students from the various government offices had ceased and that the 
competition of two newer law schools was being seriously felt. The Law 
School was no longer self-sustaining. 26 

In spite of financial difficulty, Welling had lost none of his enthusiasm 
for his university idea. Washington was no place for a small college. 
None was needed, and such an institution could be maintained much more 
cheaply elsewhere. The nation’s capital demanded a great university. 
Welling suggested the advisability of selling College Hill and urged 
action without delay. 27 In 1878 the Board offered to sell the north grounds 
to the government for the Naval Observatory at a price of 10 cents per 
square foot, and expressed a willingness to receive offers for other ground 
which it had available. The offer was not accepted. 28 

The high confidence which had characterized the announcement in 
1873 of the University’s intention to establish a School of Science seemed 
misplaced as, year after year, the plan failed of realization. The problem 
was not a simple one. Added income was needed. New quarters, conven- 
iently located in the heart of the city, were essential. A committee report- 
ing on the situation toward the close of 1880 spelled out the reason for 
the delay: failure to realize anticipated funds. The assessed values of 
Trinidad, unproductive property in the city, and the college grounds 


The Age of Welling, 1811-1894 

plus an estimated value of $50,000 for the buildings on College Hill 
only totaled about $223,000. A sum much less than this would be realized 
at a forced sale. Even if a productive piece of property on Third Street, 
with an estimated value of $17,380, were sold, the total proceeds would 
fall short of the $200,000 that had been stated as necessary to yield 
adequate income for the support of the new school. To add to these 
woes, the current rate of interest had fallen to between 4 and 5 per 
cent. Postponement was recommended. 

President Welling was loath to make this decision. Something, he said, 
must be done. Taxes were eating up the institution. The University was 
$10,000 in arrears already, and each year taxes were adding $1,000 more 
to the expenses — about the amount of the College’s yearly deficit. The 
president’s dictum was direct and explicit: “Since we cannot execute 
what we projected, we must project what we can execute to the extent 
and compass of our means.” Two days later, in a special meeting, the 
Corporation authorized a loan of $12,000 secured by a mortgage to pay 
taxes. 29 

An ingenious maneuver, probably not without deeper significance, 
was executed to relieve the University of part of its tax burden. The 
Medical School had been financially autonomous, with the faculty mem- 
bers deriving their salaries directly from the student fees. At a special 
meeting the Board resolved: “That the National Medical School, the 
Medical Department of the University, is hereby declared to be an integral 
part of the University system and that until further notice the salary of 
each of the professors of the school be fixed at one dollar per annum.” 
Citing this resolution, the University requested the Commissioners of 
the District of Columbia to include the medical property in the general 
exemption of the University’s property used for its educational purposes. 
Through their secretary, William Tindall, the Commissioners granted 
tax exemption from the date of the resolution but refused to waive the 
University’s obligation for taxes on the medical property prior to that 
time. 30 

When the Corporation held its annual meeting in 1 88 1, it heard a dis- 
mal report on registration. The College had only 39 students in attend- 
ance during the year. The president felt that the requirements for 
graduation were too severe as compared with those in the older univer- 
sities; and henceforth, instead of having to get diplomas in all seven schools 
(i.e., departments), students would be required to get diplomas in only 
five, with certificates of proficiency in the others, to qualify for the 

Bricks Without Straw 


bachelor’s degree. To ease the financial situation in the Law School, 
professors’ salaries were fixed at $2,400 for eight months, with an addi- 
tional $600 or as much as practicable to be paid at the end of the academic 
year. A basic report by a select committee of five had been prepared and 
the Corporation adjourned to meet in ten days’ time when full attention 
would be given to this report. 31 

The later meeting was significant. The report was specific. The in- 
vestigations by the committee disclosed that the income from rents, 
interest, and dividends alone amounted to $7,084, or about $1,000 above 
teachers’ salaries. Other expenses ran to $6,630 per year. The taxes for 
six years had amounted to $14,129, or $2,354 P er year- Unless reductions 
were made, the College deficit for the next year would be on the order 
of $5,000. Law, Medicine, and Preparatory could make their way; the 
burden was the College. Therefore, a reduction in the number of pro- 
fessors and the elimination of one janitor were immediately called for. 

The committee made no attempt to gloss over the situation. Its language 
was baldly realistic. The cause of the shrinkage in enrollment, it declared, 
“is doubtless the forlorn condition of rooms and appliances.” The walls 
were not as white as might be. The tables and chairs were very common- 
looking, many of them fearfully hacked with knives, making the whole 
appearance “cheerless and repulsive.” The chemical apparatus was “old 
and insignificant” and the geological specimens were in “rough-looking, 
dirty cases.” “Valuable works of art were nearly ruined by their sur- 
roundings.” The library books, many of them old and worthless, were 
in the topmost story of the building. “In short, the whole establishment is 
behind the times and well adapted to disgust students and parents.” The 
advantages of a beautiful location were negated by the distance from 
the heart of the city, now that the dormitories were no longer used. 

Washington, the committee declared, wanted no ordinary college. 
With theological education as one of its aims when originally established, 
that function was given up years ago and was well carried on elsewhere. 
The city was entering a new era. Many young men and women wanted 
courses in the University at a convenient place and time. It seemed folly 
to ignore them and go on losing property in the dull and almost useless 
routine of former years. “We must remodel our course of instruction, 
adapt it to the wants and surroundings of the city and bring it into the 
midst of those we would instruct.” The principal of the Preparatory 
School went so far as to say that with a favorable location in the city 
he could double the student body. 

The Age of Welling, 1811-1894 159 

The appointment of a special committee was ordered to consider and 
report upon “a plan for the entire reconstruction of the Schools of the 
University so that we may offer to the people of every class the privilege 
of high education and establish here an Institution that will teach what 
people will pay for learning.” 

The economies called for at an earlier meeting were put into effect: 
salaries were reduced, one professor was not reappointed, and a janitor 
was discharged. Once again the sale of the College’s city property as soon 
as possible was authorized. As matters for the committee’s consideration 
it was proposed that the property of the Law building on Fifth Street 
be sold, provided a site for the College and rented quarters for the Law 
School could be found, or that arrangements be made for a building to 
house all the schools but the Medical School. Special consideration was 
to be given to the needs of the College and the Preparatory School. 

The die had been cast. The days of College Hill were rapidly coming 
to a close. 32 

When the Corporation met to hear the committee’s report in Novem- 
ber, President Welling explained the various alternatives that were 
available and had been considered. The clear preference of the committee 
for a site was the southeast corner of Fifteenth and H Streets, a parcel 
containing 20,200 square feet. Unfortunately the price of $75,000 seemed 
far beyond the University’s means and put this location out of the ques- 
tion. There was a possibility on the north side of H Street, one square 
east. Using the site of the Medical Building as a nucleus, certain adjacent 
parcels could be acquired that would form a holding of 10,700 square 
feet, large enough for a structure to accommodate all departments. The 
University could sell its unimproved property in the city, assessed at $13,- 
890; the Third Street house, valued at $17,380; the Law building, worth 
$18,070; and eleven acres in the northern tract of the College land at 
$4,000 per acre. These sales would have an anticipated yield of something 
in excess of $93,000, with any deficit being met by the sale of more of 
the College land. As an alternative the University could put up a build- 
ing on the Law School site to provide revenue and make up the difference 
by selling more acreage on College Hill. 

The decision was made to select the Medical School site, to acquire 
the adjacent lots available, and to sell more land. With full confidence, 
plans and specifications were ordered and on December 3, 1881, the erec- 
tion of a building to house all departments was authorized. 33 

However, on January 11, 1882, the president of the Corporation added 

160 Bricks Without Straw 

to his already many benefactions the offer of a vacant lot 95 feet by 153 
feet 5 inches at Vermont Avenue and Eye Street. The Board immediately 
stopped the further acquisition of property around the Medical building 
and voted not to carry through the erection of the proposed structure. A 
major part of the north grounds of the College property amounting to 
16,442 acres was sold to Mrs. Mary D. Biddle of Philadelphia for $49,326, 
thus putting some cash in the treasury to work with. Unfortunately, on 
investigation the lot offered by Mr. Corcoran, usually called the Arlington 
lot, was found too small for the type of building proposed. Clearly the 
location at Fifteenth and H Streets was the favored one. The ever- 
generous Mr. Corcoran agreed to bear a burden of $30,000, equal to the 
value of the Arlington lot, should the institution build on the southeast 
corner of Fifteenth and H Streets. The Corporation made another deci- 
sion: A building to house all the departments except the Medical School 
was to be constructed at the favored site, with the cost limited at the 
time to $75,000. The erection of a building for the Preparatory School 
in the area was authorized at a cost not to exceed $18,000. The remaining 
property on College Hill, amounting to 18 acres, was ordered to be sold 
as quickly as practicable. This decision held, and for a quarter of a century 
the activities of the University were centered in midtown on H Street, 
between Thirteenth and Fifteenth Streets. 34 

The institution was at a great turning point in its history. College Hill 
was gone. For forty years the College had rested in a truly bucolic setting. 
Then for the frenzied four years of civil war, it had been a vast military 
installation. For the next twenty years College Hill had seemed to live 
on borrowed time. No real doubt existed that the College must be moved 
into the city. Too pressed by debts to move and too burdened with taxes 
to stay, the College spent years in discussing what to do. In its entire 
history the institution had really had only one operation completely 
financed in advance. Luther Rice and his colleagues had raised the 
necessary funds when the land north of the boundary was bought, before 
there was a charter or a college. But from then on, whatever was done 
was done by borrowing and individual solicitation. Congress did donate 
$25,000 worth of city lots, and in the early days there were a few generous 
donors like John Withers, and to a lesser degree John Quincy Adams and 
others. Generous as they were, their benefactions could hardly be 
described as princely. What they contributed did not go in full measure 
to a supporting endowment but was usually eaten up by annual deficits 
and modest expenditures on the physical plant. When what had been farm- 

The Age of Welling, 1811-1894 161 

land became suburban property and then was subdivided into city lots, 
“the lot” that Rice and his confreres had bought yielded the funds which 
helped make the midtown location possible. 

The change in site was no more radical than the change in student 
body. The early College had drawn boarders from all parts of the eastern 
seaboard. The steady growth of colleges in the northern states and, with 
the approach of the War, the slavery question had drawn off students 
from the North and made the student body predominantly southern. The 
rapid development of Richmond College, particularly, cost the College 
much of its patronage by Virginia Baptists, long a mainstay. The War 
nearly limited the student body to the District of Columbia. After the 
War, the South was impoverished and hardly prepared to send students 
to Columbian. An effort was made by electing Trustees, and later Over- 
seers, from Maryland to develop in that state the type of patronage that 
Virginia had furnished before the War. This effort was less than fully 
successful and the College found its dormitories unused and its faltering 
enrollment made up largely of students from the District. 

The outreach of the institution was then extended in an unexpected 
fashion. The great expansion of the civil service during and following 
the War brought to Washington many young men who were interested in 
taking courses for professional training or personal enrichment that were 
available after their working hours. The tremendous response from this 
group in the early years of the Law School gave added emphasis to the 
opportunity for extending the services of the institution. When President 
Welling formulated plans for a scientific school, he had clearly in mind 
the demand which existed for instruction after working hours. As the 
discussion for the removal from College Hill to the city went on, more 
and more thought was given to this potential source of a vast body of 
students, drawn from all over the country, resident here temporarily and 
anxious to learn while they earned. The best way to cultivate this patron- 
age was to offer the courses at a convenient place at convenient hours. 
The poverty of the College made it eager for students. Circumstances 
were most favorable for educational services and financial profit to go 
hand in hand. Idealism and solvency would be equally served by shaping 
the University’s offerings so that, as the committee in charge of the 
site frankly asserted, the institution would teach what people would pay 
for learning. With this policy in force, what had started as a traditional 
college took on the full mission of an urban university. 

Immediate steps were taken to implement the Corporation’s decision 


Bricks Without Straw 

to relocate. There had been only 37 students in the College and 64 in the 
Preparatory School during 1881-1882. It was ordered that operations be 
conducted in the city the following year when the College would utilize 
a building on the lot at the corner of Fifteenth and H Streets until spring. 
By that time it was hoped that the Medical School would be able to accom- 
modate the College. It was planned to break ground for the new University 
building early in the spring. The treasurer’s report for the year shows 
that the property at Fifteenth and H Streets had been bought for the 
very reasonable price of $60,000, and that the ground for the Preparatory 
School west of the Medical property had been acquired for $2,565.87 
cash, subject to a deed of trust for $4,434.13 held by the Louise Home. 35 
When the academic year 1882-1883 opened, the College was in the old 
building at Fifteenth and H Streets. It was ready to move to the Medical 
School as soon as building plans required the clearing of the new site. 
There had been some delays in the construction of the new Preparatory 
School whose 55 students were still at College Hill, but by December 
the new building would be ready for occupancy. The total cost of building 
and equipping the Preparatory School was $2 7,03 9. 36 

In December, 1882, Welling reported that the University was enjoying 
“a good measure of prosperity.” Registration was up: Preparatory 65, 
College 40, Medicine 69, Law 165; a total of 339. The very gratifying 
increase in registration in the Medical School, the president explained, was 
“mainly due to the large number of government employees drawn to the 
city by the clerical work of the Pension Bureau and other departments of 
government.” The same factor was eventually to help all the branches of 
the University. 37 

Great care was taken in planning the new University building. Advice 
was sought and obtained from Princeton and Johns Hopkins University 
and their suggestions were embodied in the plans. Of all those submitted, 
the plans of William M. Poindexter were looked upon with most favor, 
although those submitted by Joseph C. Hornblower had many desirable 
features which the Board wished embodied in the final drawings. Poin- 
dexter estimated the cost at $71,300, or $75,300 if extra room were added. 
The Poindexter plan was accepted, but, on the recommendation of the 
Johns Hopkins authorities, provision was made for putting all the labora- 
tories in a separate building or annex. 38 

For easy identification, the property at College Hill had been divided 
into three major parts: the south plot; the College grounds, the center 

The Age of Welling, 187 1-1894 ,f >3 

part where the buildings were located; and the north plot. A small area 
north of Columbia Road was devoted to the cemetery. Before the cemetery 
area was sold, the bodies interred there were removed. President Welling 
reported that precise locations and names were unknown because the 
headstones, never having been replaced, were all mislaid. Included among 
those buried in the cemetery was John Withers, the most generous of the 
College’s early benefactors. President Welling was authorized to have all 
of the bodies removed to Oak Hill Cemetery and to have a suitable monu- 
ment erected to John Withers. 39 

The south plot had been subdivided by B. O. Carpenter into building lots 
which were leased and sold. The north plot was sold to Mrs. Mary D. 
Biddle for $49,326, and the middle plot of 596,938 square feet to General 
William M. Dunn in behalf of his wife, Elizabeth Lanier Dunn, for 
$87,500, with the building materials and contents reserved and the right 
of occupancy of the professors’ houses permitted until June 30, 1 883. 40 
The old furniture of the College, described in such drab terms by the 
Trustees’ Committee, was auctioned off by Duncanson Brothers for the 
colossal sum of $83.98. The total yield from the sale of the entire prop- 
erty in the middle plot with its improvements amounted to $89,275- 41 

The last piece of property belonging to the University on College Hill, 
the west half of lot 42 in the South Grounds (on Chapin Street, west of 
Fourteenth Street), was sold to Mrs. Mary D. Biddle for 30 cents a square 
foot in 1 883. 42 

The requiem for the old College home was sung by the Board of 
Trustees in its annual report to the Corporation on June 18, 1883: 

It would be eminently seemly for us to unite with you in dropping some 
natural tears over the demolition and disappearance of the old College build- 
ing on College Hill, if amid the urgent calls of the living present and the 
quickening inspirations of the nascent future, we were not rather called to 
forget the things that are behind and to reach forth to the things that are 
before us. But while we are in the midst of putting up a new building, to 
be erected in largest part from the proceeds of the lot of ground purchased 
in the year 1819 by the Founders of the Columbian College, we may most 
properly confess our obligations to the good men who in their day and 
generation were enabled to “build better than they knew,” because they 
labored in faith and hope. Other men labored, and we are entering into 
their labors. For the actual brick and mortar which composed the old College 
building there is no need to make lamentations, now that it has disappeared 
from the face of the earth. As a College building it represented a style of 

Bricks Without Straw 


architecture which has become obsolete, while its appearance of dilapidation 
and decay, on the leading thoroughfare of our city, was a standing advertise- 
ment to the discredit of the Corporation. Even the members of the Corporation 
itself refused to subject their sons to the hardships and mortifications of such 
a residence and regretfully sent their children, of late years, to other and 
more prosperous institutions. 43 

There was not as much nostalgia as might have been expected in the 
Board’s statement. It seemed to reflect the anguish of hopes frustrated in 
the past along with a defensive attitude to silence any criticism. It is not 
inconceivable that its tone was affected by startling information that the 
Corporation had recently received. The College grounds which had been 
sold to Mrs. William M. Dunn for $87,500 had been sold by her three 
weeks later to William C. Hill for $142,026 — a profit of more than 
$54,ooo. 44 

After hearing the Board’s report, the meeting of the Corporation was 
adjourned and the members proceeded to the site of the new University 
building to lay the cornerstone. The demolition of the old structure on 
the site which had served as the temporary home of the College was begun 
on September 19, 1882. The contract for construction was awarded to 
William C. Morrison, whose bid was $67,839, well within the limit set by 
the Corporation. 45 

The new University building was occupied by the College, the Law 
School, and the newly established Scientific School in September, 1884. 
The structure was four stories high with a frontage of 121 feet on Fif- 
teenth Street and 64 f z feet on H Street, with an annex extending back 
on the south line 156 feet. The facades were of pressed and molded bricks 
with terra cotta ornamentations, all especially designed. Ascent to the 
main floor was by steps 1 2 feet wide and to the floor above by an ornate 
staircase 7 feet wide. The main floor contained the Law Lecture Hall 45 
by 60 feet with a seating capacity of five hundred persons, the Museum, 
the University Library, the Law Library, the president’s office, the Re- 
ception Room, and one lecture room. The upper stories contained lecture 
rooms, professors’ studies, the Chemistry Lecture Hall, the Enosinian 
Society Hall, and other rooms. In the basement, only a foot below the 
pavement level, were several lecture rooms, the Assay Department, and 
service and storage rooms. The pavilion surmounting the building was 
reserved for astronomy or graphics. The chemical laboratories were in the 
annex on the south line of the lot, insulated from the main building by a 
heavy brick wall. Brick partitions and iron beams made the building fire- 

The Age of Welling, 1811-1894 169 

proof. The building was steam heated and had an elaborate system of 
ventilation reaching every room. 46 The total expense for building and 
equipping the new University building was $94,41 6.84. 47 Because of de- 
lays in construction, the College shared the Preparatory School’s building 
during the year 1883-1884, and the opening of the 1884-1885 academic 
year was postponed until September 1 5 to allow time for the completion 
of the structure. 48 

The coming of a new age is graphically illustrated by the fact that on 
October 21, 1891, the Board authorized the installation of electric lights 
on the whole first floor of the University building, which had then been 
in use for seven years, and the treasurer was authorized to have a telephone 
put in on July 27, 1892. But the most significant evidence of a new age was 
the invasion of the University’s academic halls by women. Toward the end 
of Dr. Samson’s administration Mrs. Maria M. Carter had offered a gift of 
$5,000 to endow a scholarship for a woman student. In the early days 
of the Welling administration this gift was courteously refused until 
some plan for the education of women could be fixed upon. 

That the question had been a matter of some public attention is evident 
from a report of the opening exercises of the Law School on October 13, 
1869, in the columns of the Washington Morning News on the following 

The noticeable feature of the evening however, to the community at least, 
was the presence in the school of the irrepressible Mrs. Lockwood, of Union 
League Hall-women’s rights discussion notoriety. It is understood that 
she is anxious to study for the bar, and will endeavor to be admitted to 
the school. It was noticed that the idea of female students met with 
approbation from many of the sterner sex, who are doubtless contemplating 
what pleasures they will have in going through the mazes of legal disquisitions 
in the company of the fair and lovely characters whose presence in the 
schoolroom will be so comforting. ... By all means let the ladies initiate 
themselves as students of law. When they get admitted to the bar, and come 
to be members of legislatures and members of Congress, etc., we will have less 
spouting in the halls of legislation, and a greater regard to honesty in public 
matters. The “rings” will then, perhaps, have to give way to a better condition 
of things, and the millennium be nearer than most people suppose. 

The Law faculty, however, had a different view. 

The report of the committee of five, authorized by the Corporation 
on June 18, 1881, suggested that the question of admitting women be 
referred to each of the faculties of the several schools for recommenda- 

Bricks Without Straw 


tions to the Corporation, the College alone excepted, admission there 
being reserved for the decision of the Corporation “on its own wisdom.” 
This report was accepted in 1883, and at the annual meeting of the Cor- 
poration the following year the president presented the results of his 
consultation with each of the faculties. The Law faculty declared that 
“the admission of women into the Law School was not required by any 
public want. In the whole history of the institution only one woman has 
applied for admission and her wants were amply supplied by the Law 
School of the Howard University in this city.” The Medical faculty said 
that because of inadequate space it would be a physical impossibility. With 
added accommodations, the admission of women would probably be 
favored on certain conditions, not yet particularized, “for that woman has 
a mission in the medical service of the future, can hardly admit of ques- 
tion.” The faculty of the College believed that the real proportions of 
demand should “be ascertained by offering opportunity of a monthly 
examination in college studies to all such as shall be found capable and 
willing to pursue them, and if as a result of such tentative proceeding, it 
shall be found that the want is greater than can be supplied in this way, 
that the Corporation should throw open the doors of the College without 
restriction on the ground of sex.” In addition it was generally felt that the 
Corcoran Scientific School being open to women, it was not necessary to 
arrange for female education under the auspices of the College. 

The question, however, was not to be allowed to rest. In a letter of 
December 10, 1884, four women — Ellen W. Cathcart, Sarah S. Scull, Alice 
J. White, and Clara Bliss Hinds — asked to “be allowed to enter their 
names as applicants for tickets to the course of Lectures delivered before 
the Medical students of Columbian University.” On the following day 
this letter, with one signed by the dean and all the full professors, was 
sent to the Board, requesting authority to admit the four women on the 
same footing as men were admitted. The faculty went on to explain: 

Since it may appear somewhat wayward on the part of the Faculty to have 
changed its decision since the last meeting of the Board of Trustees, it may 
be stated: That the signers of the foregoing petition having, by permission of 
the Faculty attended the lectures this winter (but without matriculation or 
other official recognition) and having found that the inconvenience from want 
of proper retiring rooms (which the Faculty had thought would be an obstacle 
to their attendance) is not in reality an insuperable difficulty, but one with 
which they (the ladies) are quite willing to put up, the objection on the part of 
the Faculty to the admission of female students is withdrawn. So far the 

The Age of Welling, 1871-1894 167 

conduct of the male students toward the female ones has been uniformly 
polite as stated by the ladies themselves, and no objection on the part of the 
male pupils has been made to the admission of females. 

The Board granted the authority. 49 Clara Bliss Hinds, class of 1887, 
was the first woman who received the degree of Doctor of Medicine from 
the University. A year later the Board issued its mandamus for the con- 
ferring of the degree of Baccalaurea (sic) of Science on the first two 
women graduates of the Scientific School, Elizabeth Preston Brown and 
Louise Connolly. 50 

In the College, coeducation began, albeit hesitantly, with an action taken 
by the faculty on September 24, 1888: “Voted that Miss Mabel Nelson 
Thurston might enter the College course by paying the matriculation fee 
and standing examinations once a month with each of the members of the 
faculty.” In the following January the College faculty voted to permit 
Miss Thurston to have her examinations at her home. In September, 1 890, 
the Board of Trustees noted that the preceding year it had accepted four 
women as nonpaying students and extended the same privilege for 1890- 
1891. Miss Thurston having blazed the trail, the Board accepted coeduca- 
tion in the College as a fait accompli, as seen in the rules and regulations 
adopted by the Corporation on June 16, 1890: 

2. That no student under twenty-one years of age shall be admitted to 
Columbian College unless he or she shall pursue studies in at least three 
schools of the College, and shall embrace in his or her selections at least 
twelve hours of attendance or recitations or lectures per week. 

The same set of rules and regulations betrayed a continuing concern 
about coeducation. The faculties of the College and the Scientific School 
were to be visited by the appropriate committees of Trustees to receive 
their advice and consultation in matters of discipline “and in particular to 
consider what additional rules, if any, may need to be established in view 
of the coeducation of young men and young women in the same classes 
and in the precincts of the same building.” 51 

In 1892, the Medical faculty asked that coeducation be ended after 
seven years of trial. All proposals to solve the problem on the basis of a 
separation of the sexes in all instruction and operations involving “what 
the faculty deem a strain on modesty” seemed impracticable. They would 
involve either dual instruction or the establishment of a women’s medical 
school, neither of them feasible from a financial point of view. 

1 68 

Bricks Without Straw 

The first of Welling’s achievements was his reorganization and expansion 
of the institution’s educational program. The second was his regrouping 
of all of the University’s activities in the heart of the city. The third 
was the establishment of an endowment fund. Each of these was, of course, 
closely related to the others and much has already been said with reference 
to the third of Welling’s major objectives. 

The institution had never had any substantial endowment. In the main, 
its fund-raising energy had apparently been exhausted in making up annual 
deficits and providing modest expenditures for property maintenance. 
In 1832 by act of Congress approved July 14 of that year, city lots worth 
$25,000 were given to Columbian College for the endowment of professor- 
ships, but at the institution’s request permission was given in 1839 to sell 
$7,000 worth of the lots to meet outstanding debts. In 1845, the Reverend 
A. M. Poindexter was appointed agent to raise what was referred to as 
the $50,000 permanent endowment. Mr. Poindexter’s efforts produced 
$25,413.30 in cash and pledges. The collections on account of this fund 
amounted to $11,396.60. In 1851, the Reverend W. F. Broaddus was ap- 
pointed agent to raise a $40,000 endowment fund. John Withers offered 
to give $20,000 as soon as others had given a like sum. The net proceeds 
of this effort amounted to $14,1 1 1.97, railroad bonds valued at $2,000, and 
a house and lot on Third Street, eventually sold for $14,300. While there 
were other professorship, scholarship, and prize funds, none of them 
exceeded $6,000 in value. In the administration of these funds, the Trustees 
had been quite casual, frequently applying uninvested endowment funds 
to the payment of current operating deficits. 52 

When President Welling entered upon his duties in 1871, he notified the 
Board by letter that he did not desire to be charged with the financial 
administration of the institution. Fortunately, he had by his side an able 
and generous financier. William Wilson Corcoran had been elected Presi- 
dent of the Board of Trustees two years previously, succeeding Amos 
Kendall. No sooner had Dr. Welling been settled in office than he per- 
suaded the Board to declare its intention to raise a $250,000 endowment. 
Mr. Corcoran offered a powerful incentive to encourage the prompt 
raising of the fund. If $100,000 of the total amount sought were raised by 
January 1, 1875, and if President Welling would pledge himself to remain, 
he would give the institution the Trinidad tract adjoining the city of 
Washington. The details of these matters have been discussed earlier 
in the present chapter. They are mentioned here to show how President 
Welling was immediately involved in matters financial. Although fail- 

The Age of Welling, 1871-1894 169 

ing to meet in full the financial objectives set from time to time, the 
president continued unabatedly to labor for a real endowment fund dur- 
ing all of his lengthy administration. His association with Mr. Corcoran 
brought him help in two ways. The University received gifts of a size 
far exceeding anything it had known before, and the president had a 
strong ally in his insistence upon better financial administration. Mr. 
Corcoran’s death on February 24, 1888, was a serious personal loss to 
Dr. Welling, to the University, and to the District. 

The statement announcing his death to the Corporation suggests the 
extent of the University’s indebtedness to William Wilson Corcoran: 

It is not too much to say that the Columbian University in its present re- 
constitution, in its new habitation, and in the enlarged scope of its operations 
is essentially his creation. He gave to us our Medical Building and the ground 
on which its extension has just been erected; he laid the foundation of the 
only permanent endowment which the University has ever had, for in 1873 
the University not only had no endowment but was $30,000 in debt and 
had spent in current operation every dollar of its invested funds; he gave 
to us $30,000 for the erection of the beautiful building in which we are today 
assembled, and only two years ago at the annual meeting of that date, he 
added the munificent gift of $25,000 to our permanent endowment and 
presented a costly work of art for the adornment of the general hall of the 
Preparatory School. 53 

The president of the University, Dr. Welling, was elected to succeed 
Mr. Corcoran as president of the Corporation. President Welling must have 
felt singularly alone as he stepped into the place of the University’s elder 
statesman and greatest benefactor. He had formulated at the beginning 
of his term of office a University plan for the expansion and development 
of the institution’s educational organization. Before he laid down the 
burdens of his office he had seen the capstone placed on his organiza- 
tional structure. True, there was much yet to be done in its development, 
but his idea had taken institutional form. It is doubtful if he would have 
pushed ahead as ambitiously as he did without Mr. Corcoran’s counsel and 
financial support. All that Mr. Corcoran had hoped for had not been 
realized. The funding he provided did not prove as adequate as he had 
hoped; but, instead of practically nothing at all, the treasurer’s report 
the year of his death showed: invested funds for scholarships, $24,875; 
the Corcoran Endowment Fund, $170,429.60; miscellaneous, $4,700 — a 
total just over $200, ooo. 54 

The educational plan as laid out would have required continued bene- 

iyo Bricks Without Straw 

factions on the order of Mr. Corcoran’s for its conservative development 
and financial support. There was no W. W. Corcoran in sight. Without 
delay the president brought to the attention of the Corporation the 
formation in Washington on May 17, 1888, of the American Baptist Edu- 
cation Society. As a representative of the interests of the University, Dr. 
Welling was instructed to attend the next meeting of the society in May, 
1889, in Boston, to present the claims of the University. He wrote a 
32-page pamphlet entitled The Columbian University: Notes on Its Re- 
lations to the City of Washington Considered as the Seat of a National 
Baptist University (Washington, 1889). 

In this pamphlet, President Welling, in appealing for “one or two or 
three millions of dollars . . . which would suffice to confirm the Columbian 
University in the undisputed possession of the educational opportunities 
which it is now powerless to utilize,” dwelt with great emphasis and detail 
on his standard argument: that the modest sum he mentioned could, with 
what the government offered here, command more than could fifteen or 
twenty millions invested elsewhere. “If,” he wrote, “there be any who 
are tempted to say that the Baptist denomination of the United States 
has no need for such a seat of highest learning, either for its own sake or 
for the sake of Christian civilization and culture in our land, I cannot 
here attempt a formal argument against that thesis. No such argument 
should be necessary in the face of facts full of admonition to the Christian 

The president was encouraged by what he heard and in June, 1889, 
he told the Board of greatly widened interest in the University on the part 
of “men of the clearest light and foremost understanding in the whole 
Baptist denomination.” Interest had even extended beyond the Baptists, 
since it was recognized that the University must be “unsectarian.” A com- 
mittee was expected to bring in recommendations to the Baptist Society’s 
Board of Managers. When this committee’s report was acted upon, Dr. 
Welling thought that the Corporation should meet in special session to 
consider “our University outlook.” At this session the president referred 
to the fact that the society had raised nearly a million for the founding of a 
new college in Chicago and that a committee had “minutely inquired 
into the surroundings of the University problem in Washington and 
submitted a detailed report.” The committee recommended a “junction” 
between Crozer Theological Seminary at Chester and Columbian Univer- 
sity and referred the proposal to the authorities of the two institutions 
for their opinions. Dr. Welling pointed out that theological education had 

77 / 

The Age of Welling, 1871-1 8 94 

been a prime consideration of the founders. The Board sent to Crozer a 
resolution of salutation and willingness to discuss, but the “junction” was 
never effected. The Board next proceeded to discuss the “enlargement 
and development of the institution as a National University,” with the 
thought of raising a million dollars. Toward this end, it was recommended 
that the Board of Managers of the Education Society be petitioned to 
furnish a modest sum to defray the salary of a financial agent or itself 
undertake active steps to raise an adequate endowment. A formal com- 
mendation to the Baptist denomination of the University’s efforts to en- 
large the endowment was the extent of the society’s contribution. The 
hope for a Baptist connection which would solve the University’s financial 
problems had not been abandoned. It was merely waiting to rise again. 55 

The last years of President Welling’s administration saw the University, 
in his glowing terms, “lifted on a flood tide of prosperity.” This happy 
appraisal of the situation was based largely on a favorable turn in the 
size of the student body. An increase in the number of civil servants, par- 
ticularly through the expansion of the staff of the Pension Office, brought 
in many who sought professional training, particularly in law, and ad- 
vanced work in the arts and sciences. When President Welling entered 
upon his duties in 1871, the total number of registered students was 326. 
At the end of his service twenty-two years later, the number had grown 
to 902, and the faculty had more than doubled in size. The president’s 
constant insistence on the availability of government libraries and equip- 
ment for the purposes of instruction was given legislative sanction by the 
Joint Resolution of the Houses of Congress on April 12, 1892, putting the 
government’s libraries and collections in Washington at the disposal of 
institutions of higher education. 

One matter above all others seemed to give Dr. Welling great concern 
as his tenure neared its end. He recalled that $10,000 had been borrowed 
from the Corcoran Endowment, never paid back, and “may be forgotten”; 
that $38,434 of the same fund was used for standing debts incurred for 
the University and the Preparatory buildings; that $16,000 from the sale 
of Trinidad applied to the debt violated the spirit and intent of Mr. 
Corcoran; and that later debts of $18,000 and $4,434 had never been 
refunded. This practice he heartily and justifiably condemned not only 
as a matter of bad faith but as a loss of much-needed endowment income. 56 

Dr. Welling’s long years in office had not been interrupted by any 
substantial period of leave for rest and recreation. He requested the grant 
of a vacation on account of the uncertain state of his health on October 

Bricks Without Straw 

H 2 

24, 1893. On January 25, 1894, he asked to be relieved of the presidency 
at the end of the year. Feeling a marked improvement in his physical 
condition, Dr. Welling found it unnecessary to take the lengthy period of 
rest that he had requested. But in June, 1894, a lack of strength forced him 
to ask permission to go at once to his home in New England. In a simple 
and unaffected style, he thanked his associates for their support and friend- 
ship and reiterated his faith in the University. 67 Three months later, on 
September 4, 1 894, he died suddenly at his home in Hartford, Connecticut. 

James Clarke Welling (1825-1894) was for forty years intimately con- 
nected with the capital city as journalist, educator, Trustee of the 
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Trustee of the Philosophical Society, member 
of the Board of Visitors of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, a founder of the Na- 
tional Geographic Society, and Regent of the Smithsonian Institution. As 
literary editor and associate editor of the Daily National Intelligencer his 
voice was an important factor in shaping opinion during fifteen critical 
years in our national history. Returning to this country after a sojourn in 
Europe, he served briefly as clerk of the Court of Claims, president of St. 
John’s College in Annapolis, and professor of rhetoric and English litera- 
ture at Princeton, leaving his professorship there to become president of 
Columbian. While an act of Congress changed Columbian from College 
to University legally, Welling, supported by W. W. Corcoran’s gener- 
osity, changed it in fact. The University today is substantially as Welling 
set it up. Whatever it has achieved and whatever measure of greatness it 
may achieve in the future can be looked upon in large degree as the 
lengthening shadow of this man. 58 




U pon President Welling’s resignation, a committee from the Board of 
Trustees was immediately appointed to select a successor. In the 
interim, the Reverend Samuel Harrison Greene, D.D., pastor of Calvary 
Baptist Church, was asked to serve as the executive head of the University. 
On the recommendation of the committee, the Board of Trustees elected 
as the new president the Reverend Benaiah L. Whitman to take office 
September 1, 1895. Dr. Whitman was a graduate of Brown and of Newton 
Theological Seminary. After serving for two years as pastor of the 
First Baptist Church of Portland, Maine, he was elected president of 
Colby College in 1892. Three years later he became the seventh president 
of Columbian University. 1 His brief administration was but an interlude 
between the high promise of the Welling era and the frustrations of the 
Needham administration. 

Dr. Whitman was, in a sense, pledged to carry out the Welling plan 
which involved rounding out the academic organization, as had already 
been discussed and authorized, and providing new and adequate housing 
for the University units in the H Street area. Each of these objectives 
involved major sums of money for its realization, and Whitman had no 
Corcoran by his side. Efforts to find substantial donors were fruitless. 
The new president could only turn in the direction in which Welling 
had turned following Corcoran’s death: to the Baptists and their educa- 
tion society. This source yielded nothing. The only alternative, now 
that the University occupied substantial parcels of downtown real estate, 

H 3 

Bricks Without Straw 


was to mortgage these holdings to the limit. The unfortunate consequences 
of this policy were soon to be evident. 

While the financial picture had darkened, basis for hope in another area 
was already apparent. The College’s real endowment had always been 
its faculty. In the later days of the Welling period and in the Whitman 
years, there came to the University the group of men whose personal 
dedication and teaching ability really made possible the continuance of 
the College and the maintenance of scholarly standards in spite of financial 

Howard Lincoln Hodgkins, a graduate of the College with high 
honors, had begun to serve the University in an official connection before 
he received his degree. While still in college, his great ability led to his 
appointment as a teacher in the Preparatory School, thus beginning an 
official relation which lasted for the remainder of his life. Transferred 
to the College faculty as a professor of mathematics, he was almost im- 
mediately placed in offices of administrative responsibility, serving at 
various times within the first two decades of his career as director of the 
Summer Session, dean of the Scientific School, and dean of the University. 
As secretary, he was the one who kept the alumni organization alive and 
vigorous. The records disclose a wide range of activities that he carried 
on as the trusted adviser of presidents and Trustees. The frequent resolu- 
tions of appreciation that appear in the Trustees’ Minutes show the high 
regard in which the young scholar was held. 

Charles Edward Munroe, who had succeeded Fristoe, was another of 
this group of outstanding faculty. He added great prestige to the Depart- 
ment of Chemistry and was particularly responsible for the development 
of the Corcoran Scientific School and the School of Graduate Studies, 
both of which he headed as dean. 

William Allen Wilbur came to the University as principal of the 
Preparatory School. When the Preparatory Department was discontinued, 
he became professor of English; later his title was changed to dean of 
Columbian College. 

Hermann Schoenfeld in Germanic languages and literature, George 
Neely Henning in French, Charles Sidney Smith in the classics, and 
Charles Clinton Swisher in history and political science also joined the 
faculty in this period and spent the remainder of their academic careers 
at the University. In the sciences, several government specialists became 
part-time members of the faculty and rendered distinguished service for 
many years. 

Reverses, 1895-1910 175 

These men furnished the continuum as the University emerged, not 
entirely happily, from the midtown location, fixed its new center in the 
West End, and began its period of new growth. 

In the early part of the Whitman period, many administrative changes 
were made, largely carrying out earlier recommendations of President 
Welling. A summer session was authorized, first as a part of the Scientific 
School and later as an independent unit. 2 Tuition in the College was 
fixed at $120 per year; in the Academy at $100 per year. 3 It was determined 
to increase the length of the course for the bachelor’s degree in law to 
three years and for the master’s degree to four years beginning October 1, 
1896, but this date was postponed. 4 The change in requirements for the 
bachelor’s degree in law was finally made effective beginning October 1, 
1897. 5 

The master’s degree in law was provided for in the ordinances adopted 
for the School of Comparative Jurisprudence and Diplomacy. This school 
was to offer instruction in interstate commerce law; political history and 
science; Roman law; comparative constitutional law; public international 
law; conflict of laws; history of diplomacy and treaties; and political 
geography and its relation to political history, boards of arbitration and 
proceedings thereon. Instruction was given in a two-year course. The 
successful completion of the first year entitled students who already held 
the bachelor’s degree in law to receive the degree of Master of Laws. 
Those who completed the two years might receive a degree in diplomacy. 
The expenses of the school — with the exception of heat, light, and fuel 
— were to be paid from fees. Any amount left over from fees was to be 
divided among the four professors. A percentage of the amount received 
through gifts and other sources was to take care of heat, light, and 
fuel. 6 

These ordinances were prepared and presented by Charles Willis 
Needham, a member of the Board of Trustees at the time, who seemed 
to be the president’s educational mentor. When the new School of 
Comparative Jurisprudence and Diplomacy was set up, he became its 
dean. In accordance with the provisions of the Charter, he then had to 
resign from the Board of Trustees. He was, however, almost immediately 
elected its secretary and his influence continued unabated. These ordin- 
ances were adopted October 12, 1898. 7 

In order to give the Law School, which had been located in the main 
University building, additional needed room, Mr. Needham proposed and 
the Board approved the erection of a building on H Street, immediately 

Bricks Without Straw 


east of the main University building, to contain three lecture rooms, two 
moot court rooms, and offices. The cost was not to exceed $40,000. 

The new building was ready for occupancy on January 4, 1899; its 
cost was approximately $35,000. The building, fronting on H Street, 
was 61 Zz feet on each side, three stories high; the top of the cornice was 
49 feet above the pavement level. It was heated by steam. The exterior 
was faced on all four sides with gray Ridgway bricks. The entrance 
portico had granite columns from Mitford, Massachusetts, with terra cotta 
capitals. On the ground floor were Jurisprudence Hall, 30 by 50 feet, and 
the offices for the dean of the School of Comparative Jurisprudence, the 
dean of the Law School, and the secretary of the Law School. On the 
second floor were the office of the president, faculty rooms, and two 
lecture halls each 28.34 by 30 feet in area. On the third floor were two 
moot court rooms, a reception and smoking room, and a library 30% by 
58 feet. 8 

The formal inauguration of the School of Comparative Jurisprudence 
and Diplomacy was held on November 15, 1898, in the presence of the 
President of the United States and his Cabinet, with addresses delivered 
by Justices Harlan and Brewer of the Supreme Court of the United 
States; Secretary of the Treasury Gage; Sir Wilfred Laurier, Prime 
Minister of Canada; and John W. Foster, former Secretary of State. 9 

In addition to this newly organized school, the University acquired an- 
other academic unit by accepting the faculty and curriculum of the Na- 
tional Veterinary College, with the understanding that this new unit 
would not be a charge on the University, but would have a relation 
si milar to that of the Medical and Dental Schools at the time. Two 
years later, the Veterinary School decided to limit itself to graduate 
work. 10 

On the site of the old Law building on Fifth Street there was erected 
the Columbian Building, a modern office structure designed to be rented 
for law offices. It was considered a part of the Corcoran Endowment 
because it was built with endowment funds and the rentals produced a 
sizable increase in the income of the fund. The building was opened 
December 1, 1898. 11 

After three-quarters of a century it was felt that the Preparatory School 
had fulfilled its mission, and the discontinuance of Columbian Academy 
was recommended. At the same time it was proposed that the Preparatory 
School building be utilized as a hospital, which gave the Medical School 
a teaching hospital again. 12 

“The Original Thirteen,” Columbian College, 1899-1900. Miss Thurston is second 
from the left in the back row. 

The University building, southeast corner of Fifteenth and H Streets, 1884-1910. 
It originally housed all the departments of the University except the Medical and 
Preparatory Schools. 

The Medical School, north side 
of H Street between Thir- 
teenth and Fourteenth Streets. 
Left to right: The first build- 
ing was originally built (1883 ) 
as the home of the Preparatory 
School; the second was built 
as the University Hospital 
(1902); and the third, the Med- 
ical School, was built on the 
site of its predecessor (1902). 
During the period 1887-1921, 
the Dental School shared the 
quarters of the Medical School. 

The football squad of 1908. The most successful team in the athletic history of 
the University, they were the South Atlantic Champions, with a season’s score 
of 255, opponents 28. 

Fifteenth Street, looking north from Pennsylvania Avenue, shortly after the turn 
of the century. The University building at the southeast corner of Fifteenth and 
H Streets is in the right center. 






+*'VV? . >* 

Fourteenth Street. 

of Veterinary Medicine. 

The College 

les Herbert Stockton, 
i President, 1910-1918. 
rary of Congress Collec- 

liam Miller Collier, tenth Presi- 
c, 1918-1921. (Library of Con- 
iS Collection.) 

Left: Howard Lincoln Hodgkins, 
President pro tempore, 1921-1923. 
(University Collection.) Above: 
William Mather Lewis, eleventh 
President, 1923-1927. (University 
Collection. ) 

2023 G Street, 1912-1938. The first building occupied when the University was 
relocated in the West End. Originally built for St. Rose’s Industrial School, re- 
named Lisner Hall by the University. In the residence to the right of 2023, Henry 
Adams had rooms in 1869-1870. The residence to the left was the home of the 
Easby family. 

Woodhull House, northeast corner of Twenty-first and G Streets, 1912. Later the 
office of President Hodgkins. 

Porter House, northwest corner of Twenty-first and G Streets, 1912. Later the 
office of President Collier. 




New Masonic Temple, Thir- 
teenth and H Streets, and New 
York Avenue. Upper two 
floors were used by the Law 
School, 1910-1921. 

School of Pharmacy, 808 Eye 
Street, 1906-1919. 

Reverses, 189 5 -1910 177 

In the development of the Medical School and University Hospital 
during this period, a dominant role was played by Dean Emil Alexander 
de Schweinitz, the eminent bacteriologist. 

Ordinances establishing the University Hospital were adopted “for 
the purpose of providing clinical instruction for students.” The hospital 
was to be maintained by donations, fees from patients, and $1,000 an- 
nually from the receipts of the Medical School. 13 The hospital was 
opened November 1, 1898. 14 

Dissatisfaction had long been felt with the relation of the Medical and 
Dental Schools to the University. These schools were now brought 
within the financial structure of the University. The Medical building, 
its equipment, furniture, and apparatus were turned over to the University, 
which became responsible for the unpaid portion of obligations assumed 
by the faculty from time to time for the improvement of the building 
and its equipment. The same building and the same faculty would be used, 
but the University undertook to pay a salary of $1,000 annually to each 
of the seven members of the Executive Committee of the Medical School, 
and an additional $500 to the dean for a period of five years. A division 
of the surplus was provided for. The two major professors in the Dental 
School were each to be paid one-sixth of the receipts; the remaining 
four-sixths was to be paid into the general funds of the Medical School. 15 

The inadequacy of the Medical building became speedily apparent. The 
Medical School faculty proposed that Dr. A. F. A. King, who had been 
dean from 1879 to 1894, be authorized to undertake the solicitation of 
funds for a new medical building and hospital. Dr. King’s efforts yielded 
no funds; and after consideration for many months the Board authorized 
borrowing $360,000 at an interest rate not to exceed 4 per cent, in part to 
pay off the mortgage on the Widdicombe property which had been 
previously purchased. This lot, 100 feet on H Street with a depth of 145 
feet, was located between the Medical School and the old Preparatory 
School building and was formerly occupied by a stable. The remainder 
of the loan was to be used to construct a new building for the Medical 
School and to build on the Widdicombe lot a new hospital with private 
rooms and wards for clinical instruction. 16 

The construction of the new Medical Building and the Law School 
brought together, for the only time in the University’s history, all of 
its schools in a single group of buildings constructed by the University. 
Tragically, this situation continued for only a decade. It was at this 
time, symbolically it would seem, that the University began holding 

Bricks Without Straw 

n 8 

one Commencement in which all the schools and colleges participated. 17 
It might also be noted that from this same period, due largely to the 
insistence of graduates, all diplomas were for the first time written in 
English instead of Latin. 18 

President Whitman sought and obtained a change in the constitution 
of the governing board of the University. As we have seen, an act of the 
Legislative Assembly of the District of Columbia, approved July 25, 
1871, provided for a college Corporation of thirteen Trustees and thirteen 
Overseers. An act of Congress, approved March 3, 1873, removed the 
$25,000 restriction on the yearly value of the College’s property, changed 
the name of the institution to Columbian University, made the president 
a Trustee, and increased the number of Trustees and Overseers to twenty- 
one each. 

The amendment sought by President Whitman and approved by the 
act of Congress on March 18, 1898, returned to the old system of a 
Board of Trustees of twenty-two members, one of whom was the presi- 
dent, but with this further and significant change: that the president and 
two-thirds of the members of the Board must belong to the Baptist 
denomination. For the first time in its history, the institution was, by 
law, actually under Baptist control. 19 

The Corporation accepted the changes in the Charter and prepared to 
put its provisions into force on June 1, 1898. 20 

It was evident that the University, hard pressed financially, was to 
follow the opening made by President Welling and appeal to the Baptists 
for aid. In 1899 the Board formally thanked the richest Baptist of the 
day for a donation of $2,500 for the current expenses of the School of 
Comparative Jurisprudence. Many had entertained hopes that Mr. 
Rockefeller’s benevolence would be of a somewhat greater degree. 21 

A few months later the Trustees resolved to lay “the affairs and interests 
of the University before the Baptist Education Society for counsel and to 
secure its aid.” The Board’s representative who conferred with the 
officers of the Baptist Education Society was told that the society could 
not possibly make any contribution. He talked also with President Wil- 
liam R. Harper of the University of Chicago, who expressed interest but 
made no suggestions. The effect of this was most depressing. 22 

President Whitman, expressing his own conviction that he was no 
money-raiser, presented his resignation and asked its immediate acceptance. 
His resignation was accepted, to take effect April 30, 1900. 23 

During the Whitman administration, the University sustained, for the 

Reverses, 1895-1910 179 

only time in its history, a major financial loss through the dishonesty of 
one of its senior officers. Robert H. Martin, in the words of President 
Whitman, had in a brief time come “to the practical headship of the 
University.” Already in the employment of the University following the 
death of Mr. Robert C. Fox, the secretary and treasurer, he had gradually 
taken over the functions of the offices held by Mr. Fox. He had even 
been placed on the Board to make him eligible to hold the offices, until a 
change in the rules made membership on the Board no longer a require- 
ment for holding these offices. He had also been elected registrar and, as 
such, received all fees from students. With this combination of offices, 
he was free of any checks on his actions. 

One day while Martin was away, a woman appeared at the office to 
make a payment on an obligation. When the bookkeeper looked in his 
ledger for a statement of her account he could find none, even though 
she declared she had been making her payments regularly to Martin. The 
bookkeeper was Charles W. Holmes, who later became treasurer and 
served the University with great fidelity and distinction for more than 
forty years. Under Mr. Holmes’ careful scrutiny, other irregularities 
began to come to light. It first appeared that Martin had embezzled $840 
of collections from the Trustees’ fund. Martin made good this amount 
and was removed from office. Shortly afterwards, he acknowledged the 
embezzlement of $4,000 more. The Trustees settled with his bondsmen 
for this sum, only to find later that the total amount of his defalcation 
was $25,850.81, according to the audit of the accountant, William E. 
DeCaindry, and Martin’s own acknowledgment. 24 

In present-day terms, the amount seems almost trivial. For an institution 
trying to make ends meet with but little success, it was a disaster. It could 
have paid the interest on the University’s debt for more than a year. In 
forcing the adoption of better business methods, it was a blessing in 

The Spanish American War occurred midway in the Whitman ad- 
ministration. Unlike the War of 1861-1865 and the great twentieth-cen- 
tury wars, its impact on the University was relatively slight. In his 
Annual Report for 1898, the president summarized the situation in a 
single paragraph: 

It is a matter of pride that when the call for volunteers was issued, our 
students were not slow in offering their services. Not many have been able 
to take the field, but their failure was due to the inability of the government 
to use them and not any unwillingness on the part of the students. To meet 

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the needs of those [whose] services were called for, provision was made 
that no student need lose his standing because of absence. The College faculty 
voted to recommend that a senior in good standing should be allowed his 
degree, although not present at the final examination because of the call of 
the government. The faculties of the professional schools arranged to give 
prospective graduates their examinations out of the regular order, as would 
best meet their needs, whether before going or after their return . 25 

Among the students called into active service was a member of the 
junior class. He elected to stay in the military service after the War, ex- 
pecting naturally that a tour of duty in or near Washington within a 
reasonable time would give him a chance to complete his requirements 
for a degree. Twenty years and another war passed before the opportunity 
came. He did complete his requirements for the degree, and in 1919 the 
degree of Bachelor of Arts was conferred upon him “as of the class of 
1899.” That man was William Lendrum Mitchell (1879-1936), General 
“Billy” Mitchell, pioneer advocate of air power in national defense. 

While at the turn of the century many young and vigorous men who 
in their day were to become legends were being added to the College 
faculty, ties with the institution in its earlier days were passing. In 
1899, the Reverend Robert Ryland of the class of 1826, the oldest alumnus 
of the College at the time, died. He was the founder of the University 
of Richmond and served as its president from 1844 to 1866. 26 

In 1896, the Reverend George Whitefield Samson, the fifth president 
of the College (1859-1871), who had guided its destinies during the 
troubled days of the War of 1861-1865, passed on. He had gone from the 
presidency of Columbian to New York as the president of Rutgers 
Female College, hoping to achieve there the success he had known in 
Washington. Laboring much of the time without salary, he had hoped 
that one of the religious bodies that had organized the institution would 
undertake its support or that the College could be associated with some 
university in a Barnard-Columbia or Radcliffe-Harvard type of relation- 
ship. His efforts, heroic as they were, failed. 27 

In 1900, Adoniram Judson Huntington (1818-1903) became Professor 
Emeritus of Greek. A graduate of the College in the class of 1843, he had 
taught in the Preparatory School in his senior year; served as tutor in 
Latin and Greek, 1843-1846; as professor, 1846-1849, 1852-1859, 1862- 
1882, 1882-1900; and as dean of Columbian College, 1897-1900. He was 
described by those who knew him as “the best-loved man who has ever 

Reverses, 189^-ipio 181 

been connected with the University.” His term of service in the College 
was exceeded in length only by that of William Ruggles. 28 

While these honorable names suggest the antiquity of the College, the 
other branches of the University did not lack figures of great distinction. 
President Welling had declared at the end of his long and fruitful ad- 
ministration that men would find “the future glory of the University in 
professional education and higher learning.” 29 

To look at the eminent names on the faculties of these various schools 
would seem to indicate that Welling’s prophecy had early fulfillment. To 
mention but a few, there were Walter Reed (medicine), Theobald Smith 
(bacteriology), Frederick Russell (medicine), Harvey W. Wiley (chem- 
istry), Otis T. Mason (anthropology), Lester F. Ward (botany), Cleve- 
land Abbe (meteorology), Justice John M. Harlan (law), Justice David J. 
Brewer (law), John W. Foster (international law). Two of the men just 
named were graduates of the College: Otis T. Mason of the class of 1 86 1 
and Lester F. Ward of the class of 1869. 

Otis T. Mason (1837-1908) was principal of the Preparatory School 
from 1861 to 1884 and probably contributed more to the development of 
that school than any other individual. He became interested in ethnology 
and in 1872 became a collaborator in ethnology at the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion to assist in the arrangement and classification of its collections. In 
1884 he gave up his post at the Preparatory School, was made Professor 
of Anthropology, and became curator of the Department of Ethnology 
of the National Museum. His ideas about classification proved to be 
epoch-making in the field of ethnology. He was recognized as an out- 
standing authority on the American Indian, and his Handbook of 
American Indians has been described as a “monumental work.” 30 

Lester F. Ward (1841-1913), “Father of American Sociology,” was a 
soldier in the Union Army. Discharged because of wounds received at 
Chancellorsville, he secured a position in the Treasury Department and 
began to attend classes at the College. He received his B.A. in 1869, his 
LL.B. in 1871, and his M.A. in 1872. In 1881, Ward became assistant 
geologist in the United States Geological Survey; later he became the 
Survey’s geologist and paleontologist. Here his scholarly ability and deep 
scientific interest rapidly developed him into a scientist of great repute 
in the field of paleontology. His wide-ranging intellectual interests and 
his broad scientific background gradually led him more and more into 
the field of sociology. His eminence here was fully established by his 

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great two-volume work, the title of which, Dynamic Sociology (1881), 
was to give a name to a school of sociological thought. Called to a 
professorship at Brown University, Ward spent the last few years of his 
life there in the leisurely pursuit of his studies and in writing. 

Ward is perhaps the supreme example of the employed student who 
attained great eminence in the world of learning. He was a man of 
tremendous erudition and amazing industry. His knowledge of foreign 
languages included the classics, all the languages of western Europe, 
and a reading knowledge of Sanskrit, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese. A 
recent biographer credits him with nearly 600 publications. 31 

Dr. Samuel Harrison Greene served as president ad interim for two 
years. Then Dean Charles Willis Needham was elected and took office 
without delay. 32 As his first formal report to the Board of Trustees 
shows, he knew the University in all its detail and was in a position to 
evaluate the situation he would have to face during a trying administra- 
tion. President Whitman had carried out, but not funded, the “University 
Plan” of his predecessor. 

As a prelude to a discussion of the problems of the Needham administra- 
tion, a few observations should be made. Columbian was now, in a true 
sense, an urban university. Its educational plant was located midcity in 
the heart of the financial area. It was completely nonresident; it had 
no dormitories and no facilities for feeding students. The Corcoran Scien- 
tific School, offering all of its courses after working hours, was gaining in 
enrollment more rapidly than the College or any of the other schools. 
The work of the graduate and professional schools was also, in large part, 
designed for the part-time or the late-afternoon student. 

Although the buildings were grouped, the schools and the College had 
not yet been completely integrated into the University system. Pockets 
of autonomy still remained in some areas. Many professors were still paid 
as salaries a percentage of the fees collected for their courses. The ex- 
penses of administration were neither clearly delineated nor fairly ap- 
portioned. Certain necessary adjuncts to instruction, particularly the 
libraries, had been woefully neglected. Student enrollment continued 
to grow, however, and the total — 1,383 — was impressive. 

This continued growth in enrollment was important, for student fees 
were almost the sole source of income. The Corcoran Endowment had 
not increased as its founder had hoped. Just what the effective endow- 
ment was is almost impossible to say; certainly it was not highly produc- 
tive. Shifts in funds were frequent. The Board had been cavalier in 

Reverses, 1899-1910 18$ 

handling funds whose use was supposed to be restricted, and robbing 
Peter to pay Paul was, at times, almost an accepted policy. Struggling to 
meet instructional costs with student fees rarely left a surplus. Extra- 
ordinary expenditures were met by the best device that could be 
thought of. There was no money to grow on. 

Finally, an attempt to assume a posture that would encourage donors 
resulted in a reduction of the pool of potential givers. The supplemental 
act approved March 18, 1898, which provided that the president and 
at least two-thirds of the Trustees be Baptists, made Columbian a 
denominational institution. The famous Section 13 of the original Charter 
which provided that there should be no religious test for president, 
trustees, professors, tutors, and students had been in effect for seventy- 
one years and, although circumvented at times, had not been violated. 
This surrender of the institution’s birthright as an independent university 
did not impress the American Baptist Education Society or any wealthy 
Baptist to the point of supporting a worthy and ancient, but impecunious, 
Columbian University. Rough days were ahead before the University 
could find its bearings and sail into less troubled seas. 

In the two-year interval between the resignation of President Whitman 
and the election of his successor, the functions of acting president were 
exercised by the Reverend Dr. S. H. Greene, pastor of Calvary Baptist 
Church, who had served in the same capacity in the interim between 
President Welling’s resignation and President Whitman’s election. To 
assist him, Dr. Howard Lincoln Hodgkins, who was himself to serve as 
president during a later interregnum, was made dean of the University. 33 

On June 18, 1902, Charles Willis Needham (1848-1935) was elected 
the eighth president of the University. He was a lawyer by profession 
and had practiced in Chicago and Washington. A member of the Board 
of Trustees and for a time its secretary, he had resigned as a Trustee 
when he became the organizer and first dean of the School of Jurispru- 
dence and Diplomacy. He had been a most active member of the Board 
of Trustees and had a detailed knowledge of the University, its corporate 
structure, and its financial problems. In the energy and imagination with 
which he planned the work of the School of Jurisprudence and Diplo- 
macy he was not only following the line of his own intellectual predilections 
and professional interest but completing the educational structure that 
Welling’s “University Plan” had envisioned. As president of the Univer- 
sity, he brought forth a new conception of university organization which 
was never to take final form because of economic difficulties and, perhaps, 

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better educational thinking. His administration of eight years was a 
significant one, but not because it was one of the happiest periods of 
the University’s history. 

His contemporaries laid heavy blame on the president; but after the 
several decades that have passed, the question of responsibility no longer 
seems so simple. He acted with his Trustees. He failed to raise the large 
sums needed, and so did they. There is, however, much evidence to show 
that the effort was made. The greatest names in business and finance 
appear on the list of contributors, so these men were undoubtedly 
approached and their gifts were certainly gratefully received. The 
modesty of their donations in proportion to the size of the fortunes 
they represented makes their gifts seem to be tokens of encouragement 
rather than indications of any desire or intent to be substantial patrons 
of the institution. 

President Needham was a strange mixture of idealism and practicality. 
His judgment at times could have been better, his actions more discreet. 
Other presidents had suffered from similar limitations. It was President 
Needham’s lot to serve as the head of the University in critical years, 
during which he had to face the cumulative results of bad policy on the 
part of earlier presidents and Boards as well as to bear the burden of 
his own mistakes. When, after he had tried every device he knew, he 
heard cries of criticism from many quarters and saw his support shattered 
and gradually disintegrating, he took the only course and withdrew. 

From the start President Needham saw to it that his Board of Trustees 
was aware of the financial situation. At the beginning of his first academic 
year, when his administration was but a few months old, the president 
in his first Report to the Board stated the situation about as plainly as it 
could be stated. The income from all sources for the year, it was esti- 
mated, would amount to $83,000, the expenditures to $98,000. This 
anticipated deficit of $15,000 for the year, added to the existing deficit, 
made a total of $25,767.76 in new income that would have to be provided 
during the current year. 

The work of Columbian College, he reported, was being conducted 
without a dean and there was little association between the men carrying 
on the work of the institution. There were a lamentable lack of unity 
and an alarming absence of college atmosphere and spirit. 

The Corcoran Scientific School was “a night school.” Night schools, 
he emphasized, did not appeal to men of large means in the endowment 
of college work. Students in the Scientific School did not feel that they 

Reverses, 1895-1910 185 

were members of the University. The president urged that class hours 
be changed from the evening to the late afternoon, from four o’clock 
to six-thirty, and that libraries and laboratories be open until ten o’clock. 
He made the same recommendations regarding the School of Graduate 
Studies. In every department, except the Medical and Dental Schools, 
classes would be given from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 34 

A year and a half later, it was decided to provide classroom work in 
medicine in the forenoon, in addition to the afternoon hours, for those 
giving their full time to study. 35 

No longer were students who were employed during the day called 
“night students.” They were now “late-afternoon students,” even though 
circumstances were at times to force an unorthodox extension of the 
“late afternoon.” The great demand for college work after business 
hours in the years following the War of 1861 to 1865, the circumstances 
surrounding the creation of the Corcoran Scientific School and the 
considerable student support that it drew, and the bringing of the Univer- 
sity to the heart of the city to provide easier access for the employed 
student — all these factors had led to a great experiment in part-time 
education and the creation of a true urban university. This had been 
hailed as a great leap forward, a widening of educational services 
and of support for educational offerings. Now President Needham, 
faced with a great financial problem and thinking about attracting outside 
support rather than about tuition from an enlarged student body, sought 
to define and restrict part-time work to bring the University picture 
more within the accepted academic pattern. In furtherance of this effort, 
his administration undertook a consistent policy for the encouragement 
and development of student activities. 

To achieve a sense of unity and to cut down administrative overhead, 
the president offered a “New Plan,” the successor of Welling’s “Univer- 
sity Plan,” the blueprint which had been followed for a score of years. 
In a sense the capstone of the Welling structure had been the School 
of Jurisprudence and Diplomacy, of which Needham himself had been 
dean. The consolidation that the “New Plan” recommended was facil- 
itated by the fact that Columbian College had had no dean since the 
death of the venerable Adoniram Judson Huntington in 1900, and the 
arts and sciences branches were under the general control of Howard 
Lincoln Hodgkins, as dean of the University. 

The president proposed that Columbian College, the Corcoran Scien- 
tific School, and the School of Graduate Studies be discontinued as 

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separate entities and that all of the work in the arts and sciences be 
organized on the basis of subjects. Instead of deans and colleges there 
would be departments, each with a head professor, an assistant professor, 
and instructors. In place of the faculty there would be two councils. A 
President’s Council would include all the heads of departments and the 
deans of the professional schools. A University Council would include 
the president, all professors in the arts and sciences, and the deans and 
designated professors of the professional schools. 

The head professor was to divide each subject into a two-year cultural 
course, a third-year specialized course, and a course for original research. 
All graduates of approved secondary schools were eligible for admission 
to the college course, the degree of bachelor of arts being granted upon 
the successful completion of three years of work. Ten or twelve of the 
twenty class-hours of the third year could be taken in one of the pro- 
fessional schools. This plan was put in operation October i, 1903. One 
dollar from each matriculation fee was set aside for the support of 
athletics. 36 

The continued deficit in operating costs, comprising what was called 
“the floating debt,” continued to give the president great concern. This 
debt, made up of bank loans, increased from year to year, and was but 
a part of the picture. There was also the staggering debt of $360,000 
secured by a mortgage on the University’s property and largely incurred 
in construction of the building on H Street. “Borrowing money to put 
up new buildings,” said Needham, “was bad business.” The president had 
no magic formula for getting the institution out of debt. “It is improb- 
able,” he told his Trustees in January, 1903, “that our friends will help 
us until we help ourselves by putting the University on a sound basis. 
For a long time, the experiment has been tried of enlarging the work, 
thereby increasing the expenses beyond the income in the hope that the 
additional work done and the increased reputation of the University 
would attract friends to the University and secure financial aid. This 
experiment has failed and it simply remains for us to return to the old- 
fashioned formula of reducing expenses to meet the income.” 37 

The president was in dead earnest. A drive for $500,000 was started, 
to pay off the floating debt and to buy a new and more desirable site. 
The University Hospital was opened for patients on February 28, 1903, 
and it was hoped that its operation would yield a sizable surplus. The 
report made to the Board at its fall meeting in 1903, however, blasted 

Reverses, 1895-1910 187 

those hopes. The cost of the new hospital had exceeded the estimate by 
$9,920.96 and on its operation for a half-year it had lost over $600. 

The total capacity of the hospital was 125 patients, with forty rooms 
for the reception and treatment of private cases. There were two wards 
of twelve beds each for the general medical and surgical diseases of 
women, a like number for men, a ward of eight beds for maternity cases, 
a nursery of twelve cribs, and a children’s ward of eight beds. 38 

It had been necessary to increase the floating debt to $40,000 at 5 
per cent. The interest on this loan and on the loan of $360,000 amounted 
to $17,840, a figure slightly more than the normal operating deficit. 

To add to his discouragement, the president found it impossible to 
raise funds as he had hoped. He was facing constant objections to the 
denominational character of the institution’s control. He was incessantly 
being asked why Washingtonians did not do something for their 

The University did not lack students. The opening registration in 
1903 showed: Arts and Sciences, 287; Medicine, 215; Dentistry, 71; Law, 
314; Jurisprudence and Diplomacy, 40; total, 927. 

The president was embarrassed that literature sent out over the country 
had promised new buildings, dormitories, and a setup for real student life. 
Much had been promised, nothing done. There were, he said, enough 
students living in boarding houses to fill five or six dormitories. “With 
these burdens upon us and before us, we approach the problem of the 
development of the University as almost one of life and death. The 
University cannot go on in its present condition very long.” Needham 
was disheartened but not defeated. He recommended, and the Board 
agreed to, a request to Congress to restore to the Charter the original 
prohibition of religious tests and to repeal the provision in the recent 
amendment requiring that two-thirds of the Board and the president 
be Baptist in their religious affiliation. The president recommended that 
the Columbian Law Building on Fifth Street, valued at $225,000, be sold; 
that the proceeds be used to buy Van Ness Park at Seventeenth Street 
and Potomac Park for $161,343; an< 3 that a dormitory, to be called 
Corcoran Hall, be erected on the north side of this five-acre plot. When 
some Trustees objected that the Columbian Building represented the 
Corcoran Endowment and should not be used, Needham responded that 
this was a proper use since the dormitory would yield an income. 39 Two 
loans of $100,000 and $62,000 from Riggs National Bank and the Wash- 

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ington Loan and Trust Company, respectively, produced the cash which 
purchased the Van Ness property, the site where the Pan American 
Union’s building was later constructed. 40 

The property itself was of considerable interest. It was part of the 
vast real estate holdings of “Davy” Burnes, one of the original pro- 
prietors in the District, which had been inherited by his daughter Marcia, 
reputed at the time to be the richest heiress in the United States. Marcia 
Burnes married John Peter Van Ness, a wealthy member of Congress 
from New York and later Major General in the militia. Mrs. Van Ness 
built a great mansion house on the lot near the modest old Burnes 
cottage. It was a most elegant structure, 70 by 40 feet, with six bedrooms 
and necessary dressing rooms and a small dining room on the second 
floor; a large dining room, library, salon, butler’s pantry, and den were 
on the first floor; and a huge kitchen below was equipped with a dumb- 
waiter to carry food to the butler’s pantry. A glass-enclosed conservatory 
was included in the plan. Hot and cold running water in all parts of the 
building was a novel feature in this elaborate creation of the great archi- 
tect, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, hardly to be expected in a house com- 
pleted in 1816. 41 

Sketches and plans for the improvement of Van Ness Park were 
quickly drawn by the architectural firm of Hornblower and Marshall, 
laid before the Trustees, and adopted with the understanding that modifi- 
cations could be made. 

The changes in the Charter and bylaws were formally approved by the 
Board on February 20, 1904. 42 

With the proposed changes undoubtedly used as an occasion to renew, 
hopefully, earlier contacts with Mr. John D. Rockefeller, a contributor 
to Columbian University years previously, it had been ascertained that 
he would interpose no objection to the projected changes in the Charter. 
It later appeared that his contribution had been the only one obtained 
during the period of Baptist control of the Board, and that his waiver 
would be useful in meeting any objections that might be raised. 43 

As the University resumed its nonsectarian character under the pro- 
visions of the original Charter, showing that hope from the Baptist 
denomination (if not from individual Baptists) was about extinguished, 
what looked like a promising opportunity opened up in a new quarter. 

In August, 1897, a group of representative women had met in confer- 
ence in Washington, D.C. As a result of their deliberations, there had 

Reverses, 1895-1910 189 

been incorporated in September, 1898, a George Washington Memorial 
Association to advance and secure the establishment in the city of Wash- 
ington of a university “for the purpose and with the objects substantially 
set forth in and by the last will of George Washington” and “to increase 
the opportunities for the higher education of the youth of the United 
States.” 44 

These patriotic ladies were not the only ones whose minds and efforts 
had turned in this direction. Since 1869, the energetic and resourceful 
John Wesley Hoyt had been crystallizing his ideas along the lines of a 
national university. Hoyt was a versatile man, a student of law and 
medicine, teacher at Antioch in the days of Horace Mann, president of 
the University of Wyoming, government official, author, propagandist, 
and natural-born organizer. In his advocacy of a national university he 
became involved in a long and, at times, acrimonious controversy with 
President Eliot of Harvard. He labored endlessly, by his own personal 
effort and through various organizations, to get the support of Congress 
or of a major philanthropist. For a time the George Washington Memorial 
Association, through the Washington Memorial Association, which with 
the Academy of Sciences it had helped form, put its support behind 
a Washington Memorial Institution and helped encourage Hoyt in his 
desire to see a national university. In the winter of 1903, Hoyt wrote 
to the University relative to a movement for a national university, 
suggesting a conference with a view to turning the influence of the 
organization he represented to the building up of Columbian University. 
The letter was tabled to await consultations with the president. As 
chairman of the National University Committee, Hoyt wrote again to 
the University in May, 1904, but his letter was merely read, considered, 
and placed in the files. 45 

When Hoyt’s second communication was received, the University was 
already deeply involved in negotiations with the George Washington 
Memorial Association. In a letter of February 18, 1904, Mrs. Archibald 
Hopkins, the president of the association, wrote that her Executive 
Committee had urged favorable action on proposals made by the Univer- 
sity’s president the previous December. “If,” Mrs. Hopkins wrote, “they 
decide to erect a Washington Memorial Building on the site which 
you propose to give for the purpose, the George Washington Memorial 
Association would ask you and your Board of Trustees to consider 
taking the name of George Washington University for the postgraduate 


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department of your greater University.” It is easy to suspect Hoyt’s 
influence in the form of the proposal: a memorial which was to be a great 
center for advanced study. 

The Board of Trustees asked President Needham to continue negotia- 
tions, inviting the association to construct in Van Ness Park a memorial 
building to be used as the administration building of the University; it 
would offer facilities for lectures, research, and discussions in University 
courses and by scientific societies. 46 

The Memorial Association had been busily seeking subscriptions and 
gifts. About $50,000 had been subscribed; $16,000 of it had been paid 
in cash and part of it was made dependent upon raising $50,000 more. 
When $100,000 had been reached in cash and subscriptions, work on the 
memorial building was to be commenced. On May 2, 1904, President 
Needham was able to report that an agreement had been reached whereby 
the association agreed to raise funds estimated at $500,000 to build the 
central building in a proposed group in Van Ness Park, to be known as 
the George Washington Memorial. Plans were to be approved by both 
boards. The building was to be used as an administrative building and was 
to contain an auditorium for lectures and for international and scientific 
gatherings. The structure was to belong to the University, which under- 
took the complete cost of maintenance. The University promised, as 
permitted by an act of Congress, approved January 23 of that year, to 
change its name to George Washington University upon completion 
of the building, which name was to be held in perpetuity. The association 
agreed to raise the necessary funds, the agreement to become binding 
upon formal acceptance by both boards. 

The arrangement was made with the understanding that the University 
would be nondenominational and would give primary emphasis to post- 
graduate work. 

Because Columbian had been the name of the institution for eighty- 
three years, and because around that name were centered much history 
and much sentiment, it was recommended that there should be created, 
under the general laws of the District of Columbia, an auxiliary corpora- 
tion known as Columbian College to have control of all academic under- 
graduate institutions. The name Columbian College, it will be remembered, 
had ceased to be used when, under the Needham plan of reorganization, 
all work in the arts and sciences had been grouped together under the 
designation Department of Arts and Sciences. The relations between 
the College and the University were not to be disturbed except that the 

Reverses, 1899-1910 191 

control of the College was to be vested in its own Board of Trustees, 
at least a majority of whom would be nominated by the Trustees (and, 
as it happened, from the Trustees) of the University. For the present, 
financial management would remain with the University, which would 
also grant the College’s degrees. The head of the College would be an 
officer of no higher rank than dean. 

All of the president’s recommendations with reference to the agree- 
ment with the association, including the change of name, the use of the 
Van Ness property, and the reorganization of Columbian College, were 
adopted. A committee set about drawing up a charter for Columbian 
College, which was duly signed and certified and filed with the Recorder 
of Deeds June 22, 1904. 47 

The use of the old name, Columbian University, ceased with the close 
of the fiscal year, August 31, 1904. Plans went steadily forward for 
the realization of the George Washington Memorial. The association 
felt sufficiently encouraged to express the hope that the cornerstone 
of the memorial building could be laid February 22, 1905. An architec- 
tural competition was set up with great care. The program was prepared 
by the professor of architecture, Percy Ash. Five leading architectural 
firms were invited to compete in presenting a general scheme of buildings 
for Van Ness Park, and definite plans for the memorial building, each to 
receive an honorarium of $200. The General Park Commission was asked 
to determine the winner among the architects. Costs of the competition 
were to be shared equally by the University and the association, but 
costs of the plans for the building were to be defrayed by the asso- 
ciation alone. 

Reporting to the Board in November, 1904, President Needham noted 
a great growth in college spirit. Total candor would have required that 
he also note the great bitterness on the part of many alumni at the loss 
of the old name, Columbian University. 48 

The president spoke with pride of the success of the changes that had 
transformed the Department of Arts and Sciences into a day school, 
with all classes ending by 6: 30 p.m. He pointed out with great satisfaction 
that in 1901 only 17.6 per cent of the students in arts and sciences 
attended day-time classes before 6:30. In 1904, 100 per cent were day- 
time students, with 37.4 per cent completing work before 4:30 p.m. 

William Allen Wilbur, head of Columbian Academy until its discon- 
tinuance and then Professor of English in the College, was made acting 
dean of the newly incorporated Columbian College. For the time being, 

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the College would be supported by the University, but the president 
looked forward to an early date when the College would have its own 
administration and classroom buildings and dormitories. Then the College’s 
own Board of Trustees could take over. Dormitories, Needham thought, 
were necessary, for while there had been a great growth in college spirit, 
it could develop to the fullest extent only if there were dormitory life. 

The president was encouraged by an increase in the number of full- 
time students in the Graduate School and by the fact that the first 
beginning class in law in the morning had drawn from 35 to 40 students. 
As far as the School of Jurisprudence and Diplomacy went, the picture 
was not so pleasant. Lack of funds to increase the faculty was holding 
down the enrollment. Because of its evening schedule, the Dental School 
had been taken off the list of its national association, much to the chagrin 
of its students. 

There had been a general increase in the number of students. At the 
time of the president’s Report on November 16, 1904, the registration 
was: College, 387; Graduate, 55; Medicine, 290; Dentistry, 63; Law, 
408; Jurisprudence and Diplomacy, 40; total, 1,243. 

The financial picture for the year 1903-1904 had been encouraging. 
The treasurer’s Report showed income of $342,761.21 from all sources 
and expenses of $342,502.93. While this indicated a surplus, it was felt 
that actually there would be a deficit on the order of $6,000, a very small 
one in the light of past history. 

New educational bylaws were adopted, fixing the organization of the 
University as follows: 

Department of Arts and Sciences: Columbian College (B.A. and 
B.S.), and School of Graduate Studies (M.A., M.S., degrees in 
Engineering, and Ph.D.) 

School of Medicine (4 years leading to M.D.), School of Dentistry 
(3 years leading to D.D.S.) 

School of Law and Jurisprudence (3 years leading to LL.B., plus 
1 year to LL.M., plus 3 years to Doctor of Jurisprudence) 

Department of Politics and Diplomacy (2 years leading to M.Dip., 
3 years to Ph.D.) 

To this was added a Department of Architecture. 49 

The adoption of a new name necessitated an appropriate change in the 
University insignia. Apparently there had never been any formal adoption 
of colors for Columbian. The seals on the early diplomas were attached 
to ribbons of varying light colors, but blue and gold had come to be 

Reverses, 1895-1910 193 

generally used. On the recommendation of the University Council, the 
Board ordered that beginning February 22, 1905, the colors of the 
University should be the buff and blue of General Washington’s uniform 
as preserved in the National Museum. Modern colorimetric examination of 
the original has made possible in recent years an accurate reproduction of 
the Continental buff and blue. Columbian University had used the old seal 
of Columbian College, replacing the word “College” with “University.” 
This was the seal drawn for the College in 1821 by James Peale, showing 
the lion and the lamb together and above them the opened book. A seal 
drawn by Frederick D. Owen, B.S., 1905, M.S. 1906, was adopted, using 
the University colors. The outer circle showed the words “The George 
Washington University, 1821”; inside the circle there was a shield with 
an open book in the upper portion and in the lower portion “the face 
of George Washington taken from the Stuart picture,” with the motto 
Deus nobis fiducia between the outer circle and the shield. This motto 
did not appear on the Peale seal, although for many years it was occasion- 
ally printed on the cover of the catalogue just below the seal. 60 

From every indication it would seem that the convocation of February 
22, 1905, inaugurating the use of the new name, occasioned great enthus- 
iasm. President Needham in his address reported on the reorganization 
of the work of the University, begun two years previously. He was 
particularly pleased that the Medical School was about to discontinue 
night classes, so that the closing hour of 6:30 would be uniform prac- 
tically throughout the entire University. With characteristic eloquence, 
Mr. Justice Brewer, the convocation orator, delivered the keynote speech 
for the new era that all expected to dawn. 51 

A fortnight after the convocation, an act supplemental to the original 
Charter was approved, giving the University power to organize colleges 
for “special lines of educational work”; educationally they would be a 
part of the University system but would have independent financial 
foundations. 62 

Under this act, Columbian College was incorporated as an independent 
organization in all financial and legal responsibility, although the president 
had earlier stated that “at present” financial management would be 
directed by the University. In the same way, the Washington College of 
Engineering was incorporated. 63 

These arrangements were ephemeral. Because they were found embar- 
rassing in later negotiations when an effort was being made to get an 
extension of the Morrill Act, they were suspended; and unified control, 


Bricks Without Straw 

which in actuality had never ceased, was formally reestablished. In a 
somewhat different category, the National College of Pharmacy was 
taken over as an affiliated college. 54 

The enthusiasm engendered by the adoption of a new name, the 
possibility of a new site in a strategic location, and the reorganization of 
the University could not blind the Trustees to the existence of a critical 
financial situation. The floating debt was becoming unmanageable and 
temporary relief was sought in the usual fashion — the debt had to be 
refinanced. The president recommended and the Board approved an 
increase in the debt secured by the University’s property. A loan of 
$360,000 was increased to $450,000. It is disheartening even today, to 
see what that loan, representing practically the full borrowing capacity of 
the institution, produced net. After the $360,000 outstanding was paid, 
the floating debt and the balance on the Van Ness loan taken care of, 
and the expenses of the deal and overdue interest met, a balance of 
$24,601, less in amount than the operating debt for a single year, was 
all that remained. It was, in fact, little more than one year’s carrying 
charges on the loan of $450,000 accepted from the Fidelity Trust 
Company of Philadelphia for five years at 4.4 per cent. 55 

If President Needham’s faith faltered, his utterances did not betray 
it. At Commencement in the very same month that the Fidelity Trust 
Company’s loan was negotiated, he declared in his address: 

We are entering upon a new era of our institutional life. The past, covering 
a period of over three-quarters of a century, has been honorable and is worthy 
of the respect and veneration of men; we have agreed to enter upon a new 
and a larger life; to make the institution a University in the broadest and 
best sense, and have reorganized upon a foundation, broad enough for all to 
stand upon who are interested in higher education at the National Capital. 
With a supreme purpose to make the University worthy of support, — the 
equal of the best institutions in our country, we turn our faces today, with 
courage and hope, toward the future . 56 

A new possibility of help appeared, indirect in a way but very significant. 
When Andrew Carnegie became a trustee of Cornell University in 1890, 
he began to become more and more aware of the low economic status 
of college professors and of the hardship many of them faced in retire- 
ment. To meet this problem, he set up an endowment of $10 million, later 
increased to $15 million, to provide free pensions to faculty members. 
It was estimated that there were only 92 private nonsectarian institutions 
of higher learning, with a total faculty of 3,100 receiving about $6 million 

Reverses, 1895-1910 195 

in salaries annually, which were of sufficient academic excellence to 
qualify for participation. Since the average annual salary was about 
$2,000 it was felt that the foundation’s income of $500,000 would be 
sufficient to set up free pensions for retired college teachers 65 years and 
over, with at least thirty years of service, amounting to one-half of the 
average of the individual’s salary over his final five years of employment. 67 

The University applied for participation in the Carnegie program. 
The foundation was concerned over the denominational contacts which 
the institution had had. To meet this question, the Board resolved: “That 
the President and Secretary of the University certify to the Carnegie 
Foundation the following statement of the Board of Trustees: namely 
no denominational test is imposed in the choice of trustees, officers, or 
teachers, nor in the admission of students, nor are any denominational 
tenets or doctrine taught to students in the George Washington Univer- 
sity.” 58 Having satisfied the foundation of its eligibility, the University 
was admitted to participation in the pension plan. 

Ad din g to his duties, President Needham, who had been Dean of the 
Law School, was now, as Professor of Law, assigned courses in that 
school at a substantial increase in salary. This adjustment in the Law 
School was made necessary by the resignation of Professor W. A. Maury, 
who had taught in it since 1878. An individual of the greatest distinction, 
learned in the law, highly gifted as a teacher, Maury ranks among the most 
eminent men in the history of the University. 

In spite of the limited resources of the institution, President Needham 
felt that a proper president’s house should be provided. The University 
purchased 1710 N Street with the provision that the president should 
pay the interest on the encumbrance, taxes, and 5 per cent on the monies 
paid out. It was not an entirely satisfactory arrangement. 59 

Amidst all his problems, Needham was able to claim achievement of 
one long-sought-for aim, very dear to his heart. Reporting to the Board 
in the fall of 1906, he could declare that George Washington was “no 
longer a night school or a University whose prime purpose is to educate 
government clerks,” and he offered the figures to prove it. 60 

The great need that faced the University forced consideration of great 
efforts. The futility of random solicitation for funds by individuals had 
been long demonstrated. All efforts to raise money by Trustees, faculty, 
graduates, the Memorial Association, and other groups were now com- 
bined, under the general control of the Board of Trustees, in a committee 
headed by Professor Mitchell Carroll. This committee was given a long- 

Bricks Without Straw 


range as well as an immediate objective. It was to proceed at once to the 
raising of $2,500,000, of which $600,000 was to go toward the erection 
of the Memorial Building and $900,000 for additional grounds (only 
five acres had been acquired in the Van Ness purchase), with $1,000,000 
for endowment. As soon as this initial $2,500,000 was subscribed (payment 
could be made in cash or in five annual installments), a drive for $7,500,000 
was to be launched. Of this, $1,500,000 would be spent for buildings 
and $6,000,000 reserved for a permanent endowment. 61 

In view of the stated building program for which funds were to be 
solicited, much depended on the possession of an adequate and appropriate 
site. The five-acre Van Ness plot, although strategic in location, was 
woefully inadequate for the group of monumental structures planned. 
More land in the area would have to be acquired, and prices were high. 
There was yet another and very grave embarrassment. The Potomac 
frequently overflowed its banks and, at this time, a marsh extended in 
places up to B Street, now Constitution Avenue. A hue and cry was 
raised that this would be a very unhealthy place to locate a university 
with hundreds of students. Soundings made by members of the Engineer- 
ing faculty indicated that water was found in some places very near the 
surface. One of the major critics of the use of the site fortified his 
complaints with an offer of land and building in Chevy Chase, Mary- 
land, if the Van Ness site were relinquished. His criticisms were met 
by formal assurance from the Superintendent of Sewers that the use of a 
canal as an open sewer in Potomac Park adjacent to the property would 
be discontinued and filling would be begun within a year, and a statement 
from the Health Officer that health in that locality compared favorably 
with that in other parts of the city. The Chevy Chase offer was declined. 62 

Professor Carroll’s committee got under way with great vigor to 
publicize what was designated “The George Washington University 
Movement.” The first meeting of citizens and alumni held at the New 
Willard Hotel on February 25, 1907, seemed to indicate certain success. 
In its columns on the following day the Evening Star described a scene 
of amazing enthusiasm in which the chairman, the Honorable H. B. F. 
Macfarland, one of the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, 
“over and over again found it impossible to put a motion to adjourn, so 
eager were those present to announce their own subscriptions or those 
of someone else to increase amounts already given.” In one hour, the 
very respectable sum of $82,000 was subscribed. 

The Building and Endowment Fund Committee, as a matter of strategic 

Reverses, 1899-1910 191 

approach, suggested that the first step in connection with raising the 
initial 12,500,000 be directed toward a material object, the building of a 
Columbian College building as an appeal to local sentiment. This build- 
ing would be erected on a new site. 

On February 16, 1907, the Trustees accepted an offer from Elihu Root, 
Secretary of State, submitted through Mr. C. C. Glover, for the purchase 
of the Van Ness property for the sum of $200,000, Mr. Glover generously 
donating his fee as a very substantial contribution to the fund. The 
property was to be used for a structure housing the Bureau of American 
Republics. 63 

To facilitate the addition to the Board of men of wealth who might be 
disposed to aid the University in a major way, the number of Trustees was 
increased to twenty-seven. What was to be an interminable discussion of 
new sites immediately got under way. The Columbia Heights Citizens’ 
Association brought out a twelve-page booklet presenting the advantages 
of their area. “From a sentimental, historic, and practical standpoint,” 
the association declared, “the site on Columbia Heights embodies features 
which cannot be duplicated.” Interestingly enough, they first dwelt upon 
the “sanitary effect of location” of the site they recommended, 200 feet 
above the Potomac. The association was proposing a site immediately east 
of the south half of old College Hill. Containing 23 % acres and extending 
north from Florida Avenue between Fourteenth and Eleventh Streets, 
it was just about half the size of Columbian College’s original holding. 64 

The first and continuing preference was for Oak Lawn, or the Dean 
Estate, at the northeast corner of Florida and Connecticut Avenues, 
available initially at a cost of $550,000, plus an agreement to build on the 
site within five years, at a cost not less than $150,000, Dean Hall, in 
memory of the former owners. Later statements in the campaign literature 
of the committee said that the University had an option to buy for 
$800,000. The site was an impressive one and considerable enthusiasm 
was raised by the prospect of acquiring it. Generous subscriptions were 
received. Unfortunately, however, they were conditioned on the purchase 
of a specific site. When the purchase failed to go through, the sub- 
scriptions became null and void and their payment wholly voluntary. 65 

Professor Mitchel Carroll resigned as chairman of the Committee 
on Site, Buildings, and Endowments in January, 1908. His functions 
were eventually taken over by Dr. Richard D. Harlan as representative 
of the University. 

While these matters of finance were taking up so much of the 

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administration’s energy, some educational changes were being made. On 
the recommendation of the dean, the Medical School resumed the ad- 
mission of women in 1906 by accepting the registration of Mrs. Alice 
W. Downey. Although the faculty declared that this action created no 
precedent, two more women were admitted the following fall. 86 

The title of Harriet Stratton Ellis, head of the Women’s Department, 
was changed to Dean of Women, and the Department of Law and Juris- 
prudence became the Department of Law. Continuing its policy of 
cooperation with the schools, under certain conditions teachers in service 
were given scholarships equivalent in value to one-third of the regular 
tuition charge. William Carl Ruediger, later dean of Teachers College 
and provost, was appointed to the faculty as Assistant Professor of 
Educational Psychology in 1907. 67 

The Department of Politics and Diplomacy was made a separate and 
independent college under the name of the College of Political Sciences; 
it gave graduate and undergraduate instruction in history, politics, eco- 
nomics, international law and diplomacy, and related subjects. To the 
faculty of the new college were appointed William Ray Manning (diplo- 
matic history), W. W. Willoughby (political science), Howard Lee 
McBain (political science), and Henry Parker Willis (finance). 68 

In 1908, Latin was removed from the requirements for the degree of 
Bachelor of Arts, and the degree of Bachelor of Science was discontinued. 
Beginning with the year 1909- 19 10, work in medicine became full-time. 69 

While President Needham felt that scholarship was better served by 
full-time than by part-time study, he was also anxious that the institution 
over which he presided should conform to the traditional college picture, 
because, as he so often stated, donors were not interested in supporting 
a night school. He was interested in donors. It was part of this same 
concern which led him to foster student activities, manifestations of 
“college spirit,” more energetically than had any of his predecessors. 
During his administration, the Trustees regularly granted full scholarships 
to the editors and business managers of student publications. Not in- 
frequently the president referred to student activities in his Reports to 
the Board. 

The Association of Class Presidents as an overall steering committee 
undertook a systematic reorganization of undergraduate activities. An 
editorial board of the University annual, The Mall, later known as The 
Cherry Tree, was established. The weekly student publication, The 
Hatchet, was put on a firm basis. The work of the four debating societies 


Reverses, 1899-1910 

was coordinated by an Intercollegiate Debating Council, made up of a 
student member from each society, two members of the faculty, and two 
alumni. In competition, the teams, usually debating in series Georgetown, 
Virginia, and Washington and Lee, maintained a fine record. After a bad 
season in 1903, when only two games out of seven were won, football 
was showing great progress, competing with teams such as the Carlisle 
Indians (Jim Thorpe’s great team), Bucknell, Washington and Lee, V.P.I., 
Maryland Agricultural College (now the University of Maryland), and 
Georgetown. The lack of a practice field under the University’s control 
was a serious handicap and during 1907-1908 the football team was 
allowed by the American League to use their ball park for a rental of $300. 
Nevertheless the team of 1908, coached by Fred Nielsen, compiled an 
impressive 8-1-1 record, even though the 6-0 game with V.P.I., which 
clinched the South Atlantic championship for George Washington, was 
delayed in starting until 4:45 p.m. by a heavy snowstorm that blanketed 
the field in Blacksburg. Baseball was slowly building up substantial 
student support. Other successful organizations were the Classical Club, 
which arranged public meetings addressed by visiting scholars, the Glee 
Club, the Dramatic Club, and the Tennis and Chess Club. 70 

The Alumni Association again became an active force in the life of 
the University. Organized first in 1847, it had met regularly until 1861 
and, again after the War, from 1865 to 1874. After a break of twelve 
years, the association resumed its activities in 1887. During the Needham 
administration, local alumni groups were organized in many large cities 
throughout the country. In the fund-raising activities of the period, 
efforts were directed toward raising $150,000 for an Alumni Hall on the 
new site, to be conducted as a club for local and visiting alumni. Signifi- 
cant recognition of the importance of alumni support was given when, 
in increasing the number of the Trustees, the Board on May 6, 1909, 
authorized the alumni to nominate each year two from their number to 
serve three-year terms as Trustees. 

At the same time that closer relations were being developed with the 
graduates, a plan was put in operation to promote improved communica- 
tions between the faculty and the student body through regular con- 
ferences of the deans and class officers. A student employment center 
was also set up. 

Rooms were set apart in the University building to provide comfortable 
meeting places for the students’ Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.C.A. The two asso- 
ciations had charge of one chapel service each week and held a joint 


Bricks Without Straw 

meeting on the first Wednesday of each month. In their work with the 
chapel, they aided in maintaining the University’s oldest institution, one 
which was not ended until 1967. 71 When the Baccalaureate Sermon was 
discontinued in 1968, it might be said that the secularization of the 
University was completed. 

All of this very normal activity would seem to indicate that business 
was going on as usual. An affiliated college, the College of Veterinary 
Medicine, was organized according to the new plan, 72 with Dr. David 
Eastburn Buckingham as dean. 

Active discussion of a site still went on as though the University were 
financially able to move at will. Definitely, it was not. As the year 1907- 
1908 drew to a close, the estimated deficit for the year was $54,008. 
When the Financial Committee offered its tentative budget for 1908-1909, 
it showed a deficiency of $69,296.35, leaving a sum of $16,540.67 to be 
found, “after all liquid cash and unencumbered property has been dis- 
posed of.” The committee declared “the condition most grave.” 

Some money was being collected. J. P. Morgan made the first sub- 
scription, one of $5,000 for the College of the Political Sciences; and 
Andrew Carnegie gave $1,000 for books for its special collection, the 
Mount Vernon Alcove. But of the meager amount that had been paid 
in cash for the Buildings, Site, and Endowment Fund, $13,501.32 had 
already been used for general expenses. To save money, President Need- 
ham recommended the elimination of deans, the discontinuance of all 
technical work, and the reorganization of the College’s offerings to 
emphasize the sciences. But he recommended that the College of the 
Political Sciences, considered a gem in the academic crown, be continued, 
with an enlarged faculty. At the next meeting of the Board, the president 
was asked to submit a detailed plan for the reorganization of the 
undergraduate program so as to decrease the amount and extent of work 
offered. 73 

The Financial Committee, now thoroughly alarmed, continued its very 
pointed warnings. Time was running short. If large endowments or 
subscriptions were not made within a few months, all nonself -supporting 
courses would have to be withdrawn. The situation was so serious that 
all senior members of the faculty must be taken into the Board’s con- 
fidence at once. 

The president presented and the Board adopted the requested report 
on retrenchment. He recommended that the work in the Arts and 
Sciences be grouped under two deans — one for undergraduate, the other 


Reverses, 1895-1910 

for graduate courses — and the total of salaries held to $45,000; that med- 
icine, dentistry, and the hospital be put on a self-supporting basis; that 
salaries in law be reduced by $4,400; and that the appropriation for the 
College of the Political Sciences and the general expense account be 
reduced by $8,500. It sounded dismal, but Needham was not dismayed; 
his confidence was quite unshaken: a windfall was in sight. He was ready 
to count chickens before they were hatched. 74 

President Needham’s hope rested on a piece of pending Congressional 
legislation. This bill, supplementary to the Morrill Act of 1862 and its 
various additions, and known as the Gallinger-Boutell Amendments, 
would extend to the University the benefit of the funds annually appro- 
priated under the act and would make the Secretary of Agriculture, the 
Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, and 
the Commissioner of Education members of the Board of Trustees ex 
officiis. As the president told the Trustees on March 8, 1909, this act 
had passed the Senate without dissent on the last day of the session just 
ended, had been reported favorably by the House Committee on Agri- 
culture, but reached the House too late to be acted upon. It was reintro- 
duced in the Senate at the Special Session of the Sixty-first Congress. 

If the University were recognized as the University in the District to 
receive Morrill Act funds, it would get from that source $40,000, which 
later would go to $50,000 annually. Strong opposition came from various 
quarters, but particularly from President Edmund J. James of the 
University of Illinois, chairman of a committee on a National University 
of the Association of Presidents of State Universities. Oddly enough in 
a strong statement two years earlier, President James, with the School 
of Politics and Diplomacy particularly in mind, had declared that the 
University was “well adapted to develop into a University that will do 
work of national importance, provided, only that it now receives adequate 
financial support from the people of the Republic.” 

The bill was again before the Congress for passage. So as not to 
complicate matters the corporate organization of Columbian College and 
the College of Engineering was temporarily suspended. The president was 
optimistic; but should no money be received from other sources to meet 
the $70,000 needed one year hence, he recommended, and the Board 
agreed, increasing the mortgage on the H Street property when the loan 
was renewed. The president was advised to make known the plight of the 
University to the faculty and to those who were being asked to contribute, 
but not to the press. Because it was feared that a reduced registration 


Bricks Without Straw 

would result, advanced requirements for law and medicine were postponed 
until a later time to be fixed by the respective faculties. The president was 
asked to find a purchaser for the H Street property, reserving to the 
University the right to rent the premises for from three to five years. 76 

While waiting in vain for favorable Congressional action, President 
Needham received a letter from Mrs. Susan Whitney Dimock, President 
of the George Washington Memorial Association, dated April 14, 1909, 
enclosing two resolutions which had been offered by Dr. Charles D. 
Walcott, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, a member of the 
Association’s Board and also a Trustee of the University until his resig- 
nation in 1910. Airs. Dimock’s letter was written in a spirit of pacification. 
She insisted that she and Needham were not working against each other, 
that each had his loyalty but that the end result they sought was basically 
the same. The enclosed resolutions were direct and to the point. The 
first declared that, the Van Ness property having been sold, the asso- 
ciation had withdrawn from its agreement with the University; the 
second, that Mrs. Dimock was given discretion whether to present the 
resolution to President Needham or not. Characteristically she did the 
difficult but courteous thing. 

At the same Board meeting as the one at which Mrs. Dimock’s letter was 
read, a committee of the President’s Council, consisting of Deans Munroe, 
Wilbur, and Hough, submitted a schedule which showed the minimum 
number of teachers and assistants required by each department to carry on 
necessary work. With this as its chart, the Budget Committee, with Mr. 
John B. Larner as chairman, went to work on paring down the 1909-19 10 
budget. 76 

The committee recommended that the office of dean of women be 
eliminated; that Professor Mitchell Carroll be granted leave for a year 
and that his work be carried by Professor Charles Sidney Smith and an 
assistant; that Professors James Howard Gore and J. McBride Sterrett 
be retired as eligible for Carnegie pensions; and that the work in mathe- 
matics be distributed and no new appointment be made in philosophy, 
thus saving $2,200. On the assumption that the Medical and Dental Schools 
and the hospital could care for themselves, these and other changes would, 
it was reported, bring instructional costs down to a figure close to the 
estimated receipts. Although Dr. Gallaudet solemnly warned his fellow 
Trustees that these changes could cause great injury to the University, 
the recommendations were adopted, and the chairman of the committee 
expressed the hope that there could be a reduction in the expenses of the 


Reverses, 1833-1910 

College of the Political Sciences, which had had a charmed life and had 
escaped serious retrenchment. Efforts to meet the financial crisis by merely 
cutting instructional costs to balance expected income were not enough. 
There was still administrative overhead and the burden of carrying heavy 
loans. The deficit for 1909 to 1910 was bound to approach $50,000. 

To meet this deficit, loans were granted by the National City Bank 
of New York and Riggs Bank of Washington; these, with a mortgage 
to be placed on the president’s house if it was not sold, would carry the 
cost of conducting the University, not to the end of the next fiscal year, 
but only to April 1, 1910. In this dark hour when the Medical and Dental 
Schools and the hospital were expected to earn their way, Dr. William 
Cline Borden, a graduate of the University, was appointed dean of the 
Medical Department, a position he held with great distinction for a 
generation. 77 

The days of the administration, maybe even of the University itself, 
seemed numbered. The sad state of the institution’s financial structure 
was now generally known and publicly discussed. Particularly aggrieved 
were the members of the teaching staff. While the principles of academic 
freedom and tenure were not then fully codified as they have since 
become, they were not unknown. Faculty meetings became a forum for 
bitter and acrimonious exchanges. For many years, a story was repeated 
that at one faculty meeting a senior professor challenged the figures 
presented by the president. Needham curtly rejoined, “Professor, you 
know, figures do not lie.” The answer came right back, “No, Mr. Pres- 
ident, but liars figure.” An aroused Alumni Association appointed a 
committee, with A. S. Worthington its president and a leader of the 
bar as chairman, to make an investigation to ascertain the facts in the 
case as a background for alumni assistance. When the committee asked 
leave to go over the records and to interview employees in the financial 
office, the president declined to do anything more than give them 
copies of published material; he denied them access to the original records. 

The Board of Trustees itself began to crumble. Dr. H. C. Yarrow, a 
most active and useful Trustee, resigned because he disapproved of the 
policies being followed. Senator Newlands withdrew, pleading the pressure 
of official duties. Because of the Board’s failure to heed the warnings he 
had so consistently given and because he had no faith in the estimates laid 
before the Board, Mr. Hennen Jennings resigned; in closing, he expressed 
the belief that before the University became bankrupt, it should be turned 
over to the District of Columbia government to operate. Mr. Eugene 

Bricks Without Straw 


Levering refused to approve the budget unless the faculty were told that 
probably salaries could not be paid in full the next year. The veteran 
educator of the deaf, Dr. E. M. Gallaudet, thought that a full and detailed 
public statement should be made at once to answer with the truth what 
had been appearing in the press. 78 

In the midst of this confusion, a well-directed bomb exploded in the 
form of a letter to President Needham from the Carnegie Foundation for 
the Advancement of Teaching, dated June 4, 1909, and read to the 
Trustees the next day. It was written by Dr. Henry S. Pritchett at the 
direction of the Executive Committee of the Foundation. He addressed 
himself first to the question of endowment. As of August 21, 1907, the 
University had reported a productive endowment of 1219,832.96, but in a 
financial statement as of October 3, 1908, a productive endowment of 
only $123,500 was shown. The rules of the foundation required that any 
institution in its retiring allowance system have a productive endowment 
of at least $200,000, the minimum requirement for maintaining fair educa- 
tional standards. 

Moving on to academic matters, he reported that an investigation he 
had just had made showed that announced standards of admission were 
not enforced. While the College showed reasonable care in enforcing 
admissions requirements, more than a third of the enrollment was made up 
of special students. The College of the Political Sciences and the Division 
of Education gave little regard to requirements. The Law School was lax 
in requiring four years of high school for entrance. The Medical School 
frequently evaded its requirements; if it had enforced them, it would have 
been so reduced in enrollment that it could not continue. 

Then Dr. Pritchett went on to the question of the arbitrary retirement 
of two professors “in the prime of their active teaching,” in order to save 
money. This he declared was “a blow at academic dignity and academic 
freedom.” He had made his case: the Executive Committee “informs you 
with great regret that the relation of the George Washington University 
as an accepted institution is terminated with this date.” 79 

Professors Gore and Sterrett were made professors emeriti. Members of 
the faculty petitioned the Board to confer upon them the honorary degree 
of Doctor of Laws at the 1909 Commencement. The recommendation was 
tabled. Both of the men almost immediately resigned from the emeritus 
status. Nine years later each received the honorary degree of Doctor of 
Letters and resumed his place on the faculty’s roll of honor. Although they 
did not receive the official accolade at the 1909 Commencement, they did 

20 $ 

Reverses, i8p$-ipio 

not go without honor on this occasion. Amid a great ovation, the student 
body presented each one with a silver loving cup as a token of esteem 
and respect. 

The Board decided to move slowly until the president could confer 
with Dr. Pritchett. Meanwhile, they determined not to call a meeting of 
the alumni, reconsidered one appointment in the College of the Political 
Sciences to save the amount of a substantial salary, and authorized the 
Dental School to give evening courses. 80 

When the Board met at the beginning of the 1909-1910 session President 
Needham reported on his conversations with Dr. Pritchett during a two- 
day visit at the latter’s summer home at Plymouth, Massachusetts. The 
difference of almost a hundred thousand dollars in the two statements 
of productive endowment, a fundamental question from the standpoint of 
the foundation’s regulations, was not given the expected important place 
in the president’s recapitulation of his talks with the Carnegie executive. 
His report showed clearly the influence of the tension between president 
and faculty. Dr. Pritchett, the president assured the Board, did not know 
of the faculty’s opposition to his policy of improving the standards of 
the work being done and of his struggle to introduce modem scientific 
methods of instruction. He pointed out the caliber and output of the 
professors who had been brought in since 1905. Needham contended that 
his objectives and those of the foundation were based on the same 
principles, particularly his efforts to broaden the curriculum in science, 
with more attention to laboratory work. He defended the admissions 
policy. If, he told the Board, Pritchett had been properly informed of the 
true state of things earlier, the action of the foundation the preceding 
spring would have been different. Because he felt that the Carnegie 
official seemed cooperative, the president asked him to send down a special 
fact-finding committee. Dr. Pritchett refused, not wanting to set a 
precedent; but the optimistic president expected that he might come down 
in person. 

The general tone of the president’s Report was one of hope. He was 
able to report increased registration for 1909-1910, though there had been 
“some unfortunate press stories.” Reporting to his fellow graduates on 
November 30, 1909, the president of the Alumni Association, E. C. 
Brandenburg, stated that he was “compelled to record the fact that during 
the heat of an internal controversy which occurred some months since 
in our University, the Board controlling and managing this [Carnegie] 
foundation saw fit to remove us from the list of those entitled to this 


Bricks Without Straw 

recognition. Coming at the time it did, we regret to be forced to believe 
that this action was largely the outgrowth of this disagreement and with- 
out the mature consideration which doubtless does and should control 
this body of intelligent men in reaching their conclusions.” 81 

If no progress had been made in matters of finance, the president 
could point with satisfaction to increasing evidence of student activities 
and school spirit. It was with real pride that he pointed out that sixteen 
fraternities and three sororities had chapters in the College. The four 
debating societies were active. While in 1900 there had been no athletic 
organization, there was now football, baseball, track, rifle, and some boat- 
ing, and a weekly and an annual publication. Notwithstanding the serious 
disadvantages under which the students had to practice, they had resorted 
“to the remarkable spectacle of football practice by electric light.” Both 
the student Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.C.A. continued active, and at the opening 
of the college year prepared an excellent Student's Handbook with in- 
formation as to rules and customs, locations of libraries and classrooms, 
office hours and student organizations. 82 

There remained one ray of hope which somewhat illumined the dark 
financial picture during these days when the buoyancy and ingenuity of 
college youth were giving a new social life to the University. Final 
action had not been taken by Congress on the Gallinger-Boutell Amend- 
ment to the Morrill Act, designating The George Washington University 
as the institution in the District to receive annual appropriations provided 
under the act for a college in each state offering work in agriculture, the 
mechanical arts, and certain other subjects. Particularly crucial was the 
testimony offered at a hearing on February 25, 1910, by President James 
of Illinois. President Needham asked his Board for approval of a formal 
reply to this testimony. The approval was given. In his rebuttal, Needham 
stated that he felt it had been developed so fully in the hearing that there 
could now be no question that the District was entitled, like each of the 
states, to an equal amount of financial aid. The question was, which 
university should be designated. He called attention to the nature of the 
University in the light of its Congressional Charter and later supple- 
mentary legislation, in form private, but in some sense public. Its non- 
sectarian Charter was in no way endangered by the recent Columbian 
College incorporation. In answer to the objection that these funds, if 
granted, might be used for all subjects, the president pointed out that 
courses in agriculture and mechanical arts required instruction in both 
general subjects and basic science. Needham gave figures which are of 


Reverses, 1899-1910 

interest in the light of the Carnegie Foundation’s findings. He reported 
a total of $312,000 of assets, $335,800 of endowments, and $21,000 of 
trust funds to show total assets of $669,000. As a matter of fact, progres- 
sive borrowing had reduced the Corcoran Endowment to $16,000 pro- 
ductively invested; and of the Congressional Professorship Endowment 
Fund, lots estimated as worth $32,000 remained unsold, so that this fund 
could be restored, it was hoped, to almost $50,000. 

The president challenged the right of anyone arbitrarily to rule on the 
condition of funds or to say when professors should be retired. Should 
there be created a federal university, Needham was certain that the 
District of Columbia could not support both it and George Washington, 
and that the federal university would kill George Washington. President 
Needham’s reply did not produce the passage of the desired legislation. 
There was a new wave of resignations from the Board. 83 

On April 27, 1910, Charles Willis Needham presented his resignation 
as president of George Washington University. Five days later, it was 

The presentation of the president’s letter of resignation was followed 
immediately by the reading of a letter from the Attorney General of the 
United States, stating that pursuant to a resolution adopted by the House 
of Representatives on April 25, 1910, he was about to proceed to an in- 
vestigation of the financial condition of the University. The action of the 
Attorney General was based on provisions of Section 10 of the original 
Charter of 1821. This section required in considerable detail that the 
Board of Trustees keep certain records of all their proceedings, of their 
bylaws and ordinances, and of all property — real, personal, or mixed — 
which should at all times be open to inspection by the Attorney General; 
“and when required by either House of Congress it shall be the duty of 
said trustees to furnish information respecting their own conduct, the 
state of the institution, and of its finances which shall or may be so 
required.” 84 

The examination by the government’s auditors was detailed and 
thorough. The fact that legislation in the University’s interest was pending 
in the House, that statements regarding the use of the funds of the Uni- 
versity had been made in hearings on this legislation and in the press, gave 
a special reason for an investigation at this time. Getting to work at once, 
Nelson B. Keyser and Sherrill Smith, special bank accountants for the 
Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Justice, were able to prepare 
for the Attorney General a preliminary report on the financial state of 


Bricks Without Straw 

the University as of April 27, 1910, which was immediately transmitted 
to the Speaker of the House, to be supplemented by a later and more 
thorough report. The value of real estate and equipment was placed at 
$801,996.41 and the total indebtedness at $542,310.44. From this pre- 
liminary report it appeared that since December 31, 1899, expenses had 
exceeded income by $458,302.48, “which amount was partly provided 
out of the Corcoran endowment fund.” This document, 124 pages in 
length, includes a historical account of certain trust funds, certain docu- 
ments furnished by the University, an inventory of all the equipment, 
and a list of salaries. 86 

On December 6, 1910, the Attorney General submitted two further 
reports, one dated August 20 showing the history and present financial 
condition of the endowment, scholarship, prize, and other trusts; the 
other, dated November 15, stated the assets and liabilities of the Univer- 
sity and enumerated recent acts of the Board of Trustees in untangling its 
affairs. 86 

The final report concluded with a statement of efforts being made to 
restore the institution to financial health. Attention was called to reduc- 
tion in expenses and salary. Needham’s successor, President Stockton, was 
serving without compensation. Interest, which in the previous year 
amounted to $22,273, had been practically eliminated, as was the cost 
of maintenance of the University and Law halls. The cost of maintenance 
of the buildings at 1528 to 1538 Eye Street was not expected to exceed 
that of the preceding year when these buildings were used as a “university 
annex.” The Division of Architecture’s use of 1532, and the women’s 
dormitory at 1536 and 1538 which had been maintained at a loss, were 
discontinued. By utilizing these quarters and moving the chemical labora- 
tories to the Medical building, room was found for the College of Arts 
and Sciences and the Graduate School. The College of the Political 
Sciences remained in the same rented quarters at 819 Fifteenth Street, 
but deficits in operation were expected to be covered by collection of the 
subscriptions obtained by Dr. Harlan. The Medical and Dental Schools 
and the hospital, which paid no rent for the use of buildings, were ex- 
pected to be self-sustaining. Out of $5,000 paid by the Law School to the 
general treasury, rent of $2,300 to the Masonic Temple would be met. 87 

One important item remained. The investigations showed that, other 
than the Martin embezzlement, there was no evidence of any shortage. 
“All the money received either from tuitions or from the principal and 
income of endowment funds appears to have been expended in the con- 


Reverses, 1895-1910 

duct of the business of the University and its expenditure either author- 
ized or ratified by the Board of Trustees.” 88 

The investigations indicated that, while the money had been regularly 
appropriated by the Trustees, endowment and other trust funds had been 
impaired since 1821 on the order of $350,000 to defray operating and other 
expenses. It seems that up to this time universities had not always been 
too meticulous in protecting the integrity of their permanent funds. It 
can be hoped that the disclosure of the embarrassing situation of George 
Washington University helped improve the general tone of university 
financial administration. The device that was worked out to insure the 
repayment by the University to itself of the full amount of its impairment 
of its endowment and trust funds was rather complicated. The University 
executed a promissory note for $350,000 payable on or before ten years 
after date to the Washington Loan and Trust Company, fiscal agent of 
the University and trustee of endowment funds. The University then 
conveyed title to its property and its equipment on H Street between 
Thirteenth and Fourteenth Streets in trust to the National Savings and 
Trust Company, with the University’s right to continued use and oc- 
cupancy reserved. The trust provided that in default of payment of the 
note, at the request of the Attorney General the trustee would sell the 
property and first pay all costs, then pay $350,000 or as much as was 
then due to the Washington Loan and Trust Company, and any balance 
remaining to the University. In a simple but inaccurate statement, the 
endowment and trust funds, indirectly, held a mortgage on the Medical 
property, to insure that if that property were sold, the proceeds would go 
to restore the endowment and trust funds. The note was paid off in full 
during the Marvin administration, so there no longer existed any impair- 
ment of funds. 89 

Three weeks after Dr. Needham’s resignation. Rear Admiral Charles 
Herbert Stockton, U.S.N. (ret.), was elected acting president, and 
Howard Lee McBain, Professor of Political Science, was designated as 
assistant to Admiral Stockton. President Needham continued to attend 
the meetings of the Board to the end of his term. Most of the arrange- 
ments for the radical reduction of expenses were approved during June, 
1910. The sale of the property at Fifteenth and H Streets for $550,000 was 
approved on July 1, and a special committee was appointed to recommend 
on the allocation of the proceeds so as best to meet the commitments of 
the institution. 90 

In its physical appearance at least, the University which President 


Bricks Without Straw 

Needham’s successor took over was greatly changed. The upper floors of 
the Masonic Temple housed the Law School. The Hospital, the Dispensary, 
and the Medical School remained. The Department of Arts and Sciences 
occupied a row of rented houses on Eye Street, and quarters for chemistry 
in the Medical Building. It was, to say the least, a startling change. Ex- 
penses had been cut to the bone; and in at least two departments members 
of the faculty had agreed to accept, for the time being, a reduction up to 
50 per cent of their salary at the rate paid the preceding year. Some 
valuable members of the faculty resigned, readily finding posts in other 
institutions where many had distinguished careers. The essential core of 
the faculty remained, insuring instruction of the same high character as 
before, though in less convenient quarters. There was, miraculously, no 
break in educational continuity. 

Sixteen years had elapsed since the close of the Welling administration. 
When Welling succeeded Samson, President Samson made a very wise 
observation. He welcomed his successor because Welling had gifts that 
he himself did not have. He said that he himself had gifts that his predeces- 
sor did not have, and they were as necessary for his times as were those 
special abilities of Welling for the days ahead. President Whitman’s talents 
differed from those of his predecessors. He worked diligently to complete 
Welling’s “University Plan,” but he had no philanthropist and adviser like 
W. W. Corcoran on hand. He expanded the University organization, thus 
increasing its financial needs, but was unable to increase its endowment or 
its income. His experiment in denominational control was not only un- 
productive but damaging to the University’s public posture. Dr. Needham 
had been connected with the University long enough and intimately 
enough as Trustee and dean to know the situation he inherited. 

The Whitman-Needham period (1895-1910) was certainly not the best 
one in the economic history of the country for raising money. The Panic 
of 1 893 not only was severe in itself but was followed by a very lengthy 
and severe depression that extended over almost the entire period of 
Whitman’s administration. Whitman and General Coxey came to Wash- 
ington within a year of each other. Needham also had a panic, the Panic 
of 1907, when it was said that the country experienced the most complete 
breakdown of its banking facilities it had known since the War of 1861- 

Due allowance being made for the national economic situation, would 
Needham’s leadership have brought success under more favorable con- 
ditions? Frederick the Great is supposed to have said that when he offered 


Reverses, 189 5-1 910 

Maria Theresa the chance of participating in the partition of Poland, she 
cried but kept on taking. Needham warned his Board about incurring 
debts, but kept on spending. This he could rationalize by his unfortunate 
habit of mixing mathematics and optimistic imagination. No matter how 
heavy the mortgage on a property, he could always find a remaining 
equity. His statements of assets were always well padded with these 
estimated amounts. He was not always clear as to what productive in- 
vestment was, but he was rarely at a loss when it came to showing that 
funds, potentially, or expectantly, or probably, were available. 

President Needham was given to making recommendations quickly, as 
befitted his enthusiastic and optimistic nature, and then having the recom- 
mendation laid on the table or, if adopted, suspended. Each time there 
was a financial crisis, a campaign for funds was launched, the amount 
sought (up to $7,500,000) depending upon the apparent seriousness of 
the crisis. Subscriptions would be sought for a stated purpose. When 
circumstances indicated a shift in the objective — as, for example, a change 
in the site sought — subscribers would stand on their rights, literally, and 
refuse to pay. Perhaps because of his legal training, Needham tended 
toward overorganization and codification. There were ordinances galore. 
The plan for the separate incorporation of schools, carried through for 
Columbian College and the School of Engineering, was promptly for- 
gotten because of the embarrassment caused by these separate corpora- 
tions. The agreement with the George Washington Memorial Association, 
which involved large expenditures on the part of both parties, was entered 
into when the association had only $16,000 in cash. 

Needham accepted Welling’s dictum that the special mission of the 
University was in the area of professional and higher education, particu- 
larly in the fields of jurisprudence, politics, and diplomacy. The College 
of the Political Sciences enjoyed his special protection. To the Welling 
idea, Needham added emphasis on the College, dormitories, student ac- 
tivities, athletic teams, and all the fixings, feeling that such a college was 
owed to the youth of the District of Columbia. The part-time employed 
student was to a degree, in his way of thinking, a blot on the escutcheon, 
yet the part-time student paid fees and Needham was in no position to 
ignore fees. The legal mind solved the problem. All classes must end by six- 
thirty. There were no more “night” classes. This indicated a confusion as 
to the University’s mission that had not been shared by Welling. 

In happier times, President Needham’s limitations would not have been 
so serious. Other presidents had had no more to offer, but circumstances 


Bricks Without Straw 

favored them, and Needham had to deal with others’ accumulated mis- 
takes, as well as his own. General Maxwell Van Zandt Woodhull, who 
became an influential Trustee in the Stockton years and later, and who 
was largely responsible for bringing the University to its present location, 
frequently used to say that Needham’s great sin was “rainbow-chasing.” 
Needham’s first statement to the Board was full of optimism, and so was 
his last statement eight years later. His loyalty to the University never 
wavered, and he carried his office with great dignity. The lessons learned 
from the Needham administration were perhaps a rich legacy: Never 
again would endowment funds be used for operating deficits. 


‘Reorganization and 
i 9 1 0-19 27 

T he task which faced the new president, Admiral Stockton, was 
colossal. The College and University had faced crisis before, but 
never of this magnitude. Here were a large and eager student body and a 
group of able teachers, the real ingredients of a great university; but all 
else seemed lacking. The endowment had all but disappeared. To restore 
a major portion of it (and that was the purpose of the mortgage the 
University held on its own medical property), the institution would have 
had to turn out the one branch of its educational organization which was 
still housed in University-owned structures. The administration and the 
Department of Arts and Sciences were located in a row of rented resi- 
dences, the Law School in leased quarters in the Masonic Temple. There 
was even some difficulty in getting together the funds to pay for the 
moving and storage of equipment. 

In a way, the outlook was more dismal than in earlier periods of 
economic stringency. There had been a lengthy effort to seek out and 
solicit every possible source of aid in a more systematic way than ever 
before. It had not yielded the necessary funds, or even a substantial part 
of them. In the early years of his administration. President Stockton 
served without salary, but he had no magic formula. What he did have 
was determination. His predecessors had more than once declared that 
expenditures must be brought into line with income, but they had 
gone on spending. Stockton made the same declaration and he carried 
it out. The cuts he made were radical, and in making them he restored 
public confidence in the University’s credit and integrity. 



Bricks Without Straw 

The sale of the Law School building and of the University building at 
Fifteenth and H Streets and the removal of the units which had been 
housed in them to modest, cramped, rented quarters saved the institution 
heavy maintenance charges. There was a general reduction in salaries; 
and the teaching staff was reduced by the elimination of the office of 
dean of women, ten professors, three assistant professors, one instructor, 
three lecturers, and two assistants. 1 The Athletic Council was abolished, 
football was suspended, student activities and athletics were reorganized, 
and student indebtedness was assigned to a special committee for 
liquidation. 2 

With the sale of the property at Fifteenth and H Streets for $550,000 — 
this was used as far as possible for paying off indebtedness — the Board 
canceled all subscriptions to the $400,000 Building Site and Expansion 
Fund and to the Alumni Hall Fund. Aside from a continuing effort that 
lasted three years more to get favorable action by Congress on the 
amendments to the Morrill Act, the decks had been cleared of all old 
projects. The way was open for a new beginning. 

Tuition fees, being a principal source of income, were raised to a 
maximum annual charge of $ 1 50. 3 

On November 30, 1910, Acting President Stockton was elected presi- 
dent. A month before, Commissioner H. B. F. Macfarland had resigned as 
chairman of the Board and was succeeded by John Bell Lamer, who held 
the post for twenty years. 

Charles Herbert Stockton (1845-1923), who was called to the presi- 
dency at a most critical point in the University’s life, was a native of 
Philadelphia and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy in the 
class of 1865. As a midshipman he saw active service in operations against 
ships of the Confederate States Navy. His distinguished career, begun 
thus early, brought him in time the command of the U.S.S. Kentucky, the 
presidency of the Naval War College, and appointment as naval attache 
at London and as delegate plenipotentiary to the London Naval Con- 
ference of 1908-1909. Recognized as an outstanding authority on inter- 
national law, he was the author of The Laws and Usages of War at Sea, 
of a manual of international law for the use of naval officers, and of 
Outlines of International Law, a highly regarded text in the field. Inclined 
to be short and rather stocky, but always military in carriage, President 
Stockton was dignified in both appearance and manner. As a college 
president he did not lay aside the habits of the admiral: punctuality, 
precision in speech, perfect frankness, a stem sense of duty. On his office 


Reorganization and Relocation, 1910-1921 

door was printed “Office hours 9:30 to 12:30.” This meant that he arrived 
at 9:30 and left at 12:30 precisely and without variation. Regularly his 
secretary made the uniform entries in his logbook as to weather and 
statements of important actions taken, and he signed his log before leaving 
for the day. Thought to be formal and aloof by those who did not know 
him, he was cordial to his associates and almost fatherly to the younger 
members of his official family. To an institution which had gone through 
a series of traumatic experiences, there was something positively tonic in 
the calm, dignified, and assured manner of this distinguished officer who 
gave up the leisure of retirement to serve, without compensation, an 
institution calling for strong administration and deep understanding. 

At the beginning of his second year in office, President Stockton 
reported that, in spite of limited and largely improvised quarters, there 
was an increase in registration over the preceding year. He also reported 
the admission of a woman to the Medical School, the first since the 
practice had been discontinued twenty years before. After several attempts 
had been made, registration of women in the professional schools was 
authorized in June, 1911. In the fall of 1913, five women were admitted to 
the Law School. 4 

The financial reorganization of the University was formalized by the 
Board’s acceptance of the findings of the Attorney General’s report with 
reference to all the various funds of the University, with four exceptions. 
Since the Building Site and Expansion and the Alumni Hall subscription 
had been canceled, it was decided that all funds collected should be 
returned to the donors if they so desired. The Eleanor J. Cooper bequest, 
designated for the investigation of the “nature of the malarial poison 
arising from sewer gas and the antidote thereof,” could not be carried 
out, but previous expenditures under this fund were considered sufficient 
to permit the omission of these amounts from the University’s liabilities. A 
committee was set up to decide on the use of the Powell Fund. A deed 
of trust for 1369,405.98 was placed on the Medical School and Hospital 
property to cover the impairment of endowment funds. The floating 
debt, once so formidable, had been reduced to $3,893.80.® 

Serving as he was without compensation. Admiral Stockton was in a 
position to ask others to make sacrifices, and they were made readily. No 
salary with the exception of that of the dean of the Law School was to 
exceed $3,000 per annum. The exception was justified by the fact that 
Dean Lorenzen had accepted a call to Yale and Dean Charles Noble 
Gregory of Iowa State had just been appointed to succeed him. The 


Bricks Without Straw 

University was living frugally. Student pressure to resume a full program 
of activities, funded in part by a $3 activities fee, was resisted for four 
years. The first modest fund-raising effort of the new administration 
came to a successful close with the obtaining of the one-hundredth 
subscription to a $100 five-year fund, designed to ease immediate needs. 6 

At best, the situation as to quarters could not last. The top floors of 
the Masonic Temple could, and did with effort, house the Law School 
for many years. The Medical School and Hospital remained in the 
buildings they had held, but the Department of Arts and Sciences, jammed 
in a row of rented dwellings, did not have room for even essential equip- 
ment. The apparatus of the Department of Mechanical Engineering was 
put in storage and no students in that field were accepted. When notice 
came to vacate the Eye Street houses because the property had been sold 
and the new owner desired early possession, immediate action had to be 
taken. Desultory thought had been given to a new location for some 
months, but no decision had been reached. 

Now, General Maxwell Van Zandt Woodhull, who lived at Twenty- 
first and G Streets and who had been elected to the Board of Trustees 
in the spring of 19 11, brought his very considerable influence to bear 
in the selection of 2023 G Street as the new site. On June 6, 1912, the 
University closed its option for the purchase of this property which, five 
months before, it had agreed to rent for five years at an annual rental 
of not more than $2,000, with the privilege to buy within the first six 
months for $32,500. Lacking cash, the University bought 2023 G Street 
with borrowed money: a first mortgage of $22,500 taken by Riggs 
National Bank and a second mortgage of $10,000 taken by the seller. At 
the same time authorization was given to rent a house or houses in the 
same section for not over $900 per year. Under this authorization, 2024 
G Street was rented. So, in 1912, the University came to what is, in 
contemporary affectation, called Foggy Bottom. 

The name was never an official one, indicating fixed metes and bounds. 
For decades it was one of those popular terms of denigration which 
traditionally fix themselves to an area like Swampoodle, Bloodfield, Frog 
Island, Herring Hill. The inhabitants of the present University precincts 
would, to a man, have protested that they lived east of Foggy Bottom. 
Its great landmarks were two breweries, a large coal yard, extensive 
stables, the gas works, and a famous saloon. Time works a strange 
legerdemain. The development of a parkway along the Potomac, the 
contemporary craze for restoration of old dwellings, and the construction 

Reorganization and Relocation, 1910-192-1 217 

of great memorials, monumental government structures, high-rise office 
buildings, and luxurious apartments have given Foggy Bottom a distinct 
eclat and its name a place in the literature of politics, society, and the arts. 

In the old days, there had been an appropriateness to the name, though 
Foggy Bottom had no official place in geographical nomenclature. It was 
bottom land and much of its lower fringe was swampy. The fogs which 
settled over the river bank were amplified by the smog from the gas 
works which emitted dirt-laden and malodorous clouds of smoke, day 
and night, touched up with violent spurts of flame that lit up the vicinity 
with an eerie glow. But the gas works are gone now, and in its present 
fine attire Foggy Bottom has taken on the ways of gentility. 

If an ancient name is sought for the area which includes most of the 
University complex, that name would have to be Hamburg. Hamburg 
was an incorporated town consisting of 130 acres, purchased by a German, 
Jacob Funk, and laid out by him in 1768 in 287 building lots. In recent 
terms, the boundaries of the town would be approximately H Street 
on the north, Upper Water Street and B Street (now Constitution Ave- 
nue) on the south, Twenty-third Street on the west and a line midway 
between Eighteenth and Nineteenth Streets on the east. “Hamburg 
Wharf” at the foot of Twenty-first Street was an important river landing. 
Concordia Church, on the southeast corner of Twentieth and G Streets, 
is built on land dedicated by Jacob Funk for a German house of worship. 
The undeveloped land to the west of Hamburg became Foggy Bottom 
and, like the town, was embraced within the territory set aside for “the 
Federal City in the Territory of Columbia.” 7 

Older Washingtonians still refer to the larger area in which the Univer- 
sity is located as “the First Ward.” This name is a survival from the 
nineteenth century when the city was divided into wards as political and 
fiscal units under the old city charter. The oldest arrangement (1801) 
included in the First Ward all of the city south of Pennsylvania Avenue 
and west of Sixth Street. This division into wards lasted as long as the 
old mayoralty government. 8 

The citizens’ association into whose bailiwick the University now falls 
is called the West End Citizens’ Association, thus contributing a new 
name to the area, really the western end of the old city which had 
extended to Florida Avenue on the north and the creek on the west. 

What was to become the University’s neighborhood had gone through 
many changes by 1912. Here were many houses which dated from the 
beginnings of the federal city. High officials of the government had 


Bricks Without Straw 

lived here and many foreign legations were located here in the days of 
the early republic. In the period of the War of 1861-1865 ar >d the decades 
that followed there was a great migration of admirals and generals into 
this part of the First Ward, due, no doubt, to the proximity of the 
State, War, and Navy Building and the many offices of the military 
along Seventeenth Street. By 1912 it had lost its exclusive character; and 
while a few of the old families remained, the area had become miscella- 
neous in character and gave a distinct impression of decadence. 

The University’s first purchase of land was 2023 G Street, in what is 
designated in the plat books of the District as Square 102. A quick look 
at the four sides of this square will indicate the general character of the 
neighborhood at the time. In the middle of the north side of G Street 
between Twentieth and Twenty-first Streets stood the old St. Rose’s 
Industrial School which was vacant when bought by the University. To 
the west of it stood the two Easby Houses, three-story, flat-front, red 
brick structures; and, on the corner of Twenty-first Street, the Woodhull 
House, built in the 1850’s, and in 1912 the home of General Maxwell 
Van Zandt Woodhull, his sister Miss Ellen Woodhull, and his brother, 
Mr. Charles H. Woodhull. To the east of 2023 on G Street were a large 
red brick three-story and basement house where Henry Adams had had 
rooms in 1869-1870; another red brick three-story and basement house 
with large bay windows which had been remodeled as an apartment house; 
a two-story and basement stuccoed house, which for a time housed the 
Faculty Club; a rather wide, light brick three-story house, showing a 
faint but ineffective Richardsonian influence in its architecture, used at 
the time as a tourist home; and a relatively modern red brick three-story 
building which for many years contained the offices of President Marvin 
and his staff. This south side was decidedly the most prepossessing face 
of Square 102. 

On the west side, Twenty-first Street between G and H Streets, from 
the Woodhull property at the corner of G Street — this had a larger area 
than any other holding on the square — there were only small houses: 
three narrow brick structures squeezed into two lots; a larger brick resi- 
dence with a Charleston-style porch along the north side; a small brick 
cottage, well back from the street, that was occupied by an aged Negro 
named George Washington and his wife; two more small two-story 
bricks, and a clapboard dwelling with a store front on the corner of H 

On the north side of the square, H Street between Twentieth and 

Reorganization and Relocation, 1910-1927 219 

Twenty-first Streets, after the little comer store there were two attractive 
two-story red brick houses; then some brick houses in sad disrepair, con- 
taining a shoemaker’s shop, an upholsterer’s shop, and a Chinese laundry. 
One of these structures, greatly changed, was tied in with the old gym- 
nasium, the famous “Tin Tabernacle,” which still defies the years. At the 
corner was the relatively large Marion Apartment, which, greatly re- 
modeled, is known today as Bacon Hall. 

On the eastern face of Square 102, south of the Marion, were two 
large brick dwellings and two small clapboard ones; a row of three bay- 
windowed red brick dwellings used for many years by the Department 
of Physical Education for Women; a single, detached, red brick house 
used as a tourist home; and the large three-story double house at the 
corner of G Street, later tied in with the attached house on G Street as a 
part of the president’s office. 

This attempt at the reconstruction of Square 102 will give a suggestion 
of the general character of the area — a mansion, dignified brick residences, 
tourists’ homes, a laundry, a cottage, a cobbler’s shop, a corner grocery, 
an upholsterer’s shop, little brick and clapboard houses, and a small junk 
yard. 9 

For the neighborhood, as it was then, the old St. Rose’s School was an 
impressive structure. Located somewhat back of the building line, it had 
a small front yard that was a few steps higher than the pavement from 
which it was separated by an iron fence and double gates. Large maple 
trees shaded the yard and the front of the building. Although a second 
entrance was made later (1917), there was at the time a single front 
entrance reached by a half-dozen brown stone steps. In front of the 
school was the traditional carriage block and gas lamp with a small letter- 
box fixed to the post. The building had three stories, a basement — half of 
which was above the pavement level — and a mansard. It was built of red 
brick with brown stone trimming. Antedating the use of steel in construc- 
tion, it could hardly have been considered a good fire risk, although only 
one small fire (1918) is remembered during the quarter-century of the 
University’s occupancy. 

With the exception of the Department of Chemistry, all the depart- 
ments of instruction in the arts and sciences were in 2023 G Street, as 
were all the offices of administration, with the single exception of the 
treasurer’s office. The latter was situated in a rented residence of consid- 
erable size across the street at 2024. The staff of the financial office at that 
time consisted of the treasurer, a bookkeeper, and a secretary. There were 


Bricks Without Straw 

offices on the first floor. The second floor contained three classrooms, 
and on the two top floors were the rooms of the sororities — Pi Beta Phi, 
Chi Omega, Sigma Kappa, and later Phi Mu. Aside from a small men’s 
lounge in the basement of 2023 and an equally small women’s lounge on 
the second floor, there was no provision for student comfort. Quigley’s 
Pharmacy on the southeast corner of Twenty-first and G Streets, pre- 
sided over by the kindly doctor himself (R. Lucien Quigley, Phar.D., 
1890), was the real social center. 10 

The arbiter elegantianmi of the new campus was none other than the 
Trustee who lived in the mansion at the corner, through whose urging 
the University had moved to G Street. Maxwell Van Zandt Woodhull, 
brevetted Brigadier General in the Union Army at the age of twenty-two, 
and still, a half-century later, military in carriage and impeccable in 
attire, was a genial old martinet who loved to discuss religion and medieval 
history and hated Democrats. He kept a watchful eye on the University. 
Professors seen on the streets without hats were subject to reprimand, 
and unless the shades at the windows all over the building were pulled 
down an even length, an investigation would be started. In the General 
and his establishment alone the elegance and distinction of the old First 
Ward were still alive. But a new age was dawning. 

Just as the University was moving, Dr. W. S. Hough, who had been 
dean of Teachers College since 1907, died and was succeeded by Professor 
W. C. Ruediger. In the years of Ruediger’s deanship, it is said that more 
than half of the teachers in the public schools of the District were his 
students. Under him, a demonstration school for student teachers was 
maintained for years in St. John’s Church Orphanage at Twentieth and 
F Streets. 

At the end of the first year on G Street, the College of the Political 
Sciences, which in 1907 had taken over most of the nonprofessional 
courses formerly offered by the School of Jurisprudence and Diplomacy, 
was discontinued and its courses transferred to Columbian College. At 
the time of its discontinuance, Dr. C. W. A. Veditz was acting dean, Dean 
H. Parker Willis having resigned after unsuccessful attempts to get the 
College properly financed and strictly defined as to its course offerings. 11 

As the years of President Stockton’s administration passed, anyone 
looking for the dramatic or the spectacular would have found instead the 
plain, the steady, and the prosaic. Therein was the president’s greatness. 
He knew that the days of quick expansion, of “rainbow chasing,” were 
over. His task was to establish more firmly than ever before the credit 


Reorganization and Relocation, 1910-1927 

and the integrity of the institution. It had to be demonstrated that the 
University could live on its income. That meant rigid control of finances 
and cutting back wherever possible. President Stockton had the genius 
to direct retrenchment and growth at the same time, without lowering 
the quality of instruction. Contrasted with the budgets for today’s Uni- 
versity running into tens of millions of dollars, his budget for 1914-1915 
showed a balance and was based on a total income of $i 62,945. 12 With 
little income from endowment, the problem resolved itself into operating 
on the funds paid in as tuition. Educationally, this is virtually impossible; 
but modest quarters, low maintenance, and double use of quarters and 
equipment by day and late-afternoon students for the time made possible 
the impossible. 

The small surplus available each year was used in two ways: to reduce 
the debt on 2023 G Street and to acquire small parcels of property, im- 
mediately useful themselves or contiguous to other University holdings. 
A nurses’ home at Thirteenth and L Streets was bought in 1913. Land 
adjacent to the north of the original holding at 2023 G Street was bought 
that same year to provide quarters for a mechanical engineering labora- 
tory in a reconstructed building in the middle of the square. In 1914, 
the second mortgage for $10,000 on 2023 G Street was paid off in full, 
and the adjacent property on the west (2025 G Street) with a usable 
house was purchased. The following year, two more lots were acquired 
in Square 102 and also the property at 2017 G Street. In 1916, the prop- 
erty at 2027 G Street was acquired, and the noninterest-bearing mortgage 
on the Medical and Hospital property was reduced to $323,430.23. Dur- 
ing the last year of President Stockton’s administration, $3,000 more was 
applied to reduce the mortgage on 2023 G Street, and $2,000 from current 
income was used to establish an Endowment, Restoration, and Accretion 
Fund. This fund was designed to restore endowment funds used prior 
to August 31, 1910, for current expenses, with the Corcoran Fund to be 
the first restored. After the endowment funds were restored, this fund 
was to become a General Endowment Accretion Fund. 13 

The price of these parcels of land was generally between $4,000 and 
$8,000 each. Practically each one of them had been improved by a brick 
dwelling which, with slight modification, could be used for classrooms 
and offices. Half of the south side of Square 102, with much interior 
footage, was acquired during the Stockton regime of rigid economy. 
This was, in a way, Stockton’s challenge to the future — slow expansion 
with economy in administration to insure permanence. 


Bricks Without Straw 

Although income from tuition was the very life blood of the institution, 
there was no radical increase in student fees. In 1917, tuition fees in the 
Medical School were increased from $150 to $175 per year, and in the 
Dental School from $125 to $150. In the following year, tuition fees in 
the Department of Arts and Sciences were increased from $150 to $180 
for the year. 14 

After a lapse of many years, the University resumed summer school 
work in arts and sciences and in law, with the first summer session in 
1916. This was the only major extension of academic offerings undertaken 
during the Stockton years. Dean W. C. Ruediger directed summer school 
work in the arts and sciences, and Professor W. C. Van Vleck that in the 
Law School. As first organized, this work involved no financial risk to 
the University; three-quarters of the fees were divided among the in- 
structors, and the other quarter was assigned to maintenance and the 
director’s salary. With a rapid gain in enrollment, the unsatisfactory fee 
system of compensation was soon abandoned and a regular salary schedule 
adopted. 15 

In a series of changes in nomenclature, the names of the College of 
Arts and Sciences and of the Departments of Medicine, Law, and Den- 
tistry became, respectively, Columbian College (1912) and the Schools 
of Medicine, Law, and Dentistry (1914). 

Operating an educational institution on tuition income was a dangerous 
practice, even though President Stockton had no choice when the insti- 
tution was trying to raise itself by its own bootstraps. The situation was 
bound to be precarious and the first major jolt came just as the Stockton 
administration was coming to an end, when the Dental Council of Amer- 
ica transferred the Dental School from Class A to Class C. As Dean 
Borden pointed out to the Trustees, if this classification were continued, 
the school would be taken off the approved fist of the Surgeon General 
of the Army and the very considerable number of enlisted men then 
registered would be withdrawn, cutting down materially the income of 
the school. If the school discontinued night work, the major part of the 
normal clientele, because it was employed during the day, would be 
excluded. To improve the situation, Dean Borden presented to the Board 
for approval new ordinances for the governance of the Dental School. 

The problem was not thus easily met. The Medical building housed 
the College Department of Chemistry and the Medical and Dental 
Schools, which made demands as to space and equipment far beyond the 
capacity of the building. If it had been feasible in terms of the dental 

22 } 

Reorganization and Relocation, 1910-1921 

students’ commitments to move their classes to daytime hours, an impos- 
sible congestion would have been created. The only real solution would 
have been to build a Dental School. There were no funds for acquisition 
of site, building construction and equipment, and maintenance of the 
school on an independent basis. The hard answer to the question was 
indicated, but the decision would have to be made by the Admiral’s 
successor. 16 

During the eight years of the Stockton administration, the ranks of 
senior members of the faculty showed practically no change. Younger 
men of the grade of instructor or assistant professor were added in suffi- 
cient numbers to bring the teaching staff back to its numerical strength 
before the period of retrenchment. 

Student activities, especially athletics, had been a casualty of the eco- 
nomic stringency. By the spring of 1914, the President’s Council felt 
called upon to deal the coup de grace, and recommended a discontinuance 
of the few remaining intercollegiate and collegiate sports, with the Uni- 
versity donating sufficient funds to pay off the athletic deficit and thus 
close the chapter. Student opinion was not inclined to acquiesce in such 
a move. A flood of petitions reached the Board of Trustees. Thirty stu- 
dent organizations and 700 out of 1,000 students canvassed pledged finan- 
cial and moral support for athletics. A benefit performance held at the 
Columbia Theatre on May 4, 1914, realized more than sufficient funds 
to cancel the entire athletic debt. The Board acceded to the student de- 
mand. Leslie C. McNemar, Assistant Professor of Political Science, a 
warm advocate of athletics, was appointed Director of Athletics, and the 
continuance of track and basketball for one more year was authorized. 

In spite of retrenchments, at no time had the practice of allowing full 
tuition to the editor and business manager of the Hatchet and the year- 
book been discontinued. 17 

Under the sympathetic guidance of Dean Everett Fraser of the Law 
School, chairman of the Committee on Student Affairs, a further step of 
great importance was taken the following year, when the Trustees 
adopted comprehensive regulations for the governance of student activi- 
ties. A voluntary student activities fee of $1 per month for the school 
year was instituted. This fee was collected from subscribers by the 
treasurer, along with other university charges. Interested members of 
both faculty and the student body could subscribe to and receive the 
Hatchet and the Cherry Tree, be admitted to all athletic contests except 
indoor track, and receive certain medical and hospital benefits. Intercol- 


Bricks Without Straw 

legiate indoor track and basketball were continued, football and outdoor 
track resumed, and interdepartmental athletics encouraged. 18 Funds re- 
ceived from the voluntary activities fee were apportioned as follows: 
medical benefits, 25 per cent; Hatchet, 7 per cent; Cherry Tree, 19 per 
cent; Student Council, 4 per cent; and athletics, 45 per cent. As a neces- 
sary officer for the administration of medical and hospital benefits, a 
university physician was appointed for the first time in 19 16. 19 

At a student mass meeting held in the Law School in mid April, 1916, 
a set of resolutions prepared by Dean Fraser, providing for the election 
of a Student Council to supervise and encourage the development of 
student activities was adopted. 20 The new council fostered a complete 
resumption of athletics, including football. Undergraduate enthusiasm 
ran high. The student body, with police escort, marched over across the 
creek to attend the first of a new series of games with Georgetown on 
the Hilltop. When, by good fortune, a touchdown was scored in the 
first few minutes of play (the last in the game!), it seemed that glory 
shone all around. The new council resumed the custom of publishing an 
annual Handbook. It stood on its prerogatives, even to a sudden and 
serious brush with the faculty on the control of the Hatchet. But war, 
soon to involve the nation, suddenly made these matters of student con- 
cern tremendously unimportant. 

World War I came to the United States slowly, but inevitably. The 
great American abhorrence of war acted as a deterrent to our quick 
entry as long as the conflict could be kept away from our doors. But 
complicating the whole question of America’s stance was the fact that 
each of the belligerent nations involved or to be involved was represented 
by many of its sons and daughters who had found here a refuge from 
the political, social, and economic ills of the Old World. America was 
truly a melting pot of the nations, but the old ways and allegiances had 
in many cases not yet boiled down. Common origins and common cul- 
tures had a powerful cohesive force in maintaining national blocs of 
sympathy and understanding within the American composite. These ties 
were strong; they divided many people’s feelings between the old home 
and the new. It was the age of the “hyphenates.” 

Aside from any general revulsion to war and the reluctance of national 
groups to be involved in war with their states of origin, the United 
States had been in the forefront of the movement for international peace. 
The American Peace Society had been in existence ever since 1828 and 
had published a magazine from the time of its organization. President 

Reorganization and Relocation, 1910-192-] 229 

Theodore Roosevelt had won the Nobel Peace Prize. 21 Americans had 
made important contributions to the literature of the peace movement 
and many distinguished Americans were actively involved in considering 
ways and means of enforcing peace as the war got under way. President 
Woodrow Wilson, an academic liberal in straight descent from Jeremy 
Bentham, had all of the liberal’s hatred for war and all of the liberal’s 
aspiration for a world order which would know war no longer. 

The result of the interplay of the forces shaping American policy was, 
for the first three years, neutrality. Within this framework the University 
moved slowly, but positively. At the beginning of the first academic year 
after the outbreak of the war in Europe, the Board of Trustees assigned 
the president $1,500 in tuition to be used, at his discretion, for European 
college students who, because of conditions at home, were unable to 
resume studies in their own colleges. 22 The University welcomed to its 
staff for the academic year 1915-1916, as a displaced scholar, the great 
Belgian, George Sarton, the most eminent historian of science of this 
century. 23 

Foreseeing the day when neutrality would be no longer possible, 
General Maxwell Van Zandt Woodhull in June, 1915, offered a resolu- 
tion declaring that it was “the judgment of the Trustees that a Company 
or Battalion of Infantry or Coast Artillery, drilled as infantry, be organ- 
ized from the student body and affiliated with the Militia of the District 
of Columbia.” This resolution was passed. General Woodhull as chairman 
of the Trustees’ Committee was given full power to act. Recruiting got 
under way at once. 24 

On November 3, 1915, announcement was made that Walter W. Bums, 
a student of the Law School and formerly Lieutenant (j-g-), D C. Naval 
Militia, had been appointed Captain. The organization was designated as 
First Company, Coast Artillery Corps, National Guard, District of 
Columbia, with headquarters in the Armory at 230 First Street, N.W. 

While the Coast Artillery unit was being organized, there was other 
evidence on the campus of approaching war. Lecture rooms, when not 
needed, were put at the service of the Potomac Division of Torpedo 
Control for purposes of instruction. Student participation in patriotic 
demonstrations for preparedness were enthusiastically undertaken. As 
soon as Liberty Bonds were issued, a campaign for their purchase was 
started. The proceeds of this bond drive were used a few years later to 
help pay the cost of the “Tin Tabernacle.” 

The days of neutrality came to a close. The overt act, which seems 

226 Bricks Without Straw 

to be the necessary preliminary of any declaration of war, occurred. The 
House Memorandum of February 22, 1916, had indicated President Wil- 
son’s intention to propose a peace conference whenever England and 
France found the time favorable, and intimated American entry in the 
war against Germany if that power rejected the peace proposal. Still 
the American people, by and large, were not ready for war and Wilson 
was reelected in November, 1916, on a peace platform. The disclosure 
of a German project for an alliance with Mexico and Japan against this 
country and the beginning of unrestricted submarine warfare brought 
about a break in diplomatic relations, followed by a declaration of war 
two months later. 

President Wilson’s war message was delivered to the Senate on April 
2, 1917. On the following day the Trustees adopted a resolution written 
by President Stockton. Citing “the humiliation and injury” suffered dur- 
ing the preceding two years, it declared, with a fine Palmerstonian ring, 
that “it is a primary and exclusive duty of a nation to protect its citizens 
and their property afloat and ashore.” The Congress was called upon to 
take necessary steps “to further such objects and to protect our territory” 
by raising, equipping, and training “our land and sea forces in sufficient 
number and in a manner that will be equal and just to all.” The President’s 
message was endorsed and loyal support was pledged to him as Com- 

So successful had been the recruiting for the Coast Artillery Corps 
that a second company was formed and mustered in on July 26, 1917. 
As soon as they were federalized, the companies were assigned to Fort 
Washington, Maryland. First Lieutenant Howard W. Hodgkins, who 
had been an outstanding leader in student activities and was in later years 
to serve as an alumni trustee, was put in command of the Second Com- 
pany. When, late in 1917, the 60th Regiment, Coast Artillery Corps, was 
formed, the companies were incorporated in that organization. In April, 
1918, the regiment was sent to Brest aboard the U.S.S. Siboney. After 
brief intensive training in France, the regiment was moved to the Argonne 
front and fought throughout the Meuse-Argonne offensive. Used briefly 
in clean-up operations after the armistice, the 60th was landed in New 
York by the Cedric on February 4, 1919, and within a few days was 
demobilized at Forts Washington and Hunt. 25 

President Stockton was now in his seventy-third year. To a career of 
great distinction as a naval officer he had added one of equal distinction 
as a university president. He had announced his intention to resign well 

Reorganization and Relocation, 1910-1927 227 

in advance. President Stockton could look back on eight years of service 
with complete satisfaction, for he had assured the continuation and 
growth of the University. He had restored it to solvency and laid the 
basis for the accumulation of both endowment and land. He had restored 
the faith of people in the integrity of the institution. He had supported 
the deans and faculty in raising and maintaining higher levels of academic 
excellence. There was never a year without increase in student registra- 
tion, acquisition of at least a small addition to the property, reduction of 
debt, and increase in faculty. These additions were small but consistent, 
and there was no receding once an advance had been made. All of the 
divisive elements had been silenced, and there was an era of good feeling, 
appropriately symbolized by Professors Gore and Sterrett resuming their 
status as professors emeriti at the enthusiastic request of both Trustees 
and faculty. 

The resolutions adopted by the Trustees at the time President Stock- 
ton’s resignation was accepted, in 1918, are not the collection of rhetori- 
cal bombast too frequently found in such documents. There was no need 
for them; a solid achievement demanded a factual statement: 

The University has been placed on a thoroughly sound financial basis, its 
teaching force strengthened, and student body greatly increased. Its steady 
and peaceful growth has been the result of conservative methods, maintained 
and promoted within the lines of constructive expansion. 26 

The Board’s choice of a successor had fallen upon William Miller 
Collier, whose acceptance was communicated to the Board on January 9, 
1918. President Stockton’s term was to run until August 31, but because 
of the grave problems caused by the war, President-elect Collier was to 
take over the active duties of his office immediately after Commencement. 
The resignation of Professor Richard Cobb, Secretary of the University, 
took effect at the same time. The Board elected as his successor Elmer 
Louis Kayser, the last one to hold the title (1918-1929). In another major 
change, Professor Merton L. Ferson became Dean of the Law School, 
succeeding Dean Fraser. 

Richard Cobb had served as Professor of English and Secretary of the 
University. He had been the loyal and efficient associate of the Admiral 
in reshaping the University. As secretary ex officio of the Board of 
Trustees, the President’s Council, and the faculties, he had maintained 
and developed communication between all of those bodies in a critical 
period. The diploma used today is the one he designed, and the formula 


Bricks Without Straw 

for conferring degrees is basically as he established it. A modest, self- 
effacing man, he spent his later years in retirement at his home in Barn- 
stable, Massachusetts. 

While the summer of 1918 fell formally within the administration of 
President Stockton, Mr. Collier was actively in charge, and his energetic 
policy in meeting the needs of the University in a wartime capital marked 
the beginning of a new era. 27 

William Miller Collier (1867-1956), tenth president of the University, 
found a crisis confronting him as he assumed the duties of his office. 
Fortunately, he was a man of great resourcefulness and energy. Like 
President Stockton, he was not a member of the Baptist denomination 
and, again like President Stockton, he too was the son of a clergyman. 
After graduating from Hamilton College in 1889, President Collier was 
called to the bar. Following a few years of private practice, he became a 
referee in bankruptcy, and then a member of the New York Civil Service 
Commission, of which he was chairman from 1901 to 1903. His first 
federal position was special Assistant Attorney General, engaged in the 
enforcement of antitrust regulations. In 1905, President Theodore Roose- 
velt appointed him Minister to Spain, a post which he held for four years. 
At the time of his election to the presidency of the University, he was 
practicing international law and lecturing on diplomacy and diplomatic 
usage at the University. After three years (1918-1921) he resigned his 
post to return to the foreign service as Ambassador to Chile (1921-1928). 

The crisis which faced President Collier was not an internal one, but 
one imposed by the war with Germany. In terms of time, the better part 
of the war was over. President Stockton had met the earlier problems that 
had arisen as they appeared, but the passage of the so-called “man-power” 
bill opened up grave possibilities. Previously the draft had begun with the 
age of twenty-one. The new regulations required the registration of all 
males eighteen to forty-five years of age. If the war were at all protracted, 
this would practically wipe out the male student body. 

By the time the new president met his Board at its first regular meeting, 
he, Treasurer Holmes, and the Secretary had been working around the 
clock for weeks on the major problem that had to be solved before the 
opening of the fall session. Recognizing the plight of the colleges, the 
government had created the Student Army Training Corps and a some- 
what smaller but similar type of naval unit. College students in good stand- 
ing could continue with their studies in college, subject to military need, 

Reorganization and Relocation, 1910-1927 229 

by enlisting in one of the two units, where they would be housed, fed, 
and drilled as members of a military organization under the command of 
officers assigned for the purpose. 

The need for space and facilities was immediate. There was no time for 
new construction, which, under war conditions, was virtually impossible 
anyway. The University was a strictly urban institution with meager 
facilities for instruction and none for feeding and housing military con- 
tingents. Other than a few government offices and the Powhatan (now 
the Roger Smith) Hotel, the area contained no large structures that might 
be adapted to the purpose. The president asked for authority to lease the 
Maury Apartments at Nineteenth and G Streets which the government 
then occupied but planned to leave, for an annual rental of $7,500, to 
acquire property at 1719 H Street and further property at an annual 
rental not to exceed $7,500. The government, unhappily, changed its plans 
and did not get out of the Maury as scheduled; but within the limits of the 
appropriations made by the Board, other facilities were found and quickly 
adapted for use as barracks. The Davidge house at Seventeenth and H 
Streets, 2027 G Street, 1719 Pennsylvania Avenue, and the Pharmacy 
building at 808 Eye Street, whose use had just been discontinued by the 
school, made up the living quarters. By the generous cooperation of the 
pastor and the trustees of Concordia Church at Twentieth and G Streets, 
the University installed there adequate equipment for food preparation 
and service; and the commodious basement of the church became the mess 
hall for the military units. After the war, continued hospitality on the 
part of the church made possible the use of the space for a lecture hall 
for many years. It was a mutually convenient arrangement. 

Preparation of quarters was sufficiently far advanced to permit the 
formal induction of the military units on October 3, 1918. The scene of 
the ceremony was the University Yard, then much smaller than it is now. 
A wooden porch on the rear of the west wing of 2023 G Street, ap- 
propriately decorated with bunting, served as the speaker’s stand. The 
United States Marine Band under the direction of Captain William H. 
Santelmann, U.S.M.C., Mus.D. (hon.), 1908, was in attendance. The 
oath was administered by Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy, who 
was escorted to the ceremonies by Henry White, a Trustee of the Uni- 
versity and a principal member of the United States delegation at the 
Paris peace conference. 

The SATC unit consisted of 441 men with a staff of 13 officers under 


Bricks Without Straw 

the command of Colonel Henry H. Ludlow, C.A., U.S.A. (ret.). The 
naval unit of 50 men was commanded by Rear Admiral Giles B. Harber, 
U.S.N. (ret.). 28 

Six weeks after the induction of the student soldiers and sailors, the 
armistice was signed. Demobilization got under way as the finishing 
touches were being put on the barracks. The abnormal expenditures for 
military purposes which the University had suddenly been forced to 
make required the raising of a considerable sum of money through loans. 
The sudden end of hostilities and the efficiency of the treasurer and his 
staff saved the University from any great burden. By April 25, 1919, all 
of the SATC claims against the government were settled and full reim- 
bursement made. The SATC more than justified the effort and expense 
that it involved. It saved the male enrollment. These men, continuing their 
studies, together with returning veterans, created the first veterans’ bulge, 
far smaller than the one to come a generation later. 29 

The returning veterans not only increased the size of the student body, 
but they changed its appearance. On account of the war, many men had 
been delayed a year or more in beginning college courses. Many in their 
late twenties and thirties found an opportunity to begin college work. For 
a time the student body was decidedly older. Because of the long tradition 
of late-aftemoon classes, the average part-time student had tended to be 
older, so that this increase in age was not as noticeable as it would have 
been in many institutions. More conspicuous was the lower standard of 
male attire. The student body before the war had dressed well. Now many 
resumed study without any considerable civilian wardrobe or the means to 
acquire one. Military uniforms, the insignia (except the patches) removed, 
were seen in large numbers. Because the jackets with their high-standing 
tight collars were uncomfortable and could hardly be adapted to civilian 
wear, coats tended to be forgotten, as did ties on khaki shirts. A decided 
informality of dress was developing. 

The problem of staffing the faculty and the administrative and main- 
tenance forces was acute throughout the period. Secretarial and clerical 
help was in increasing demand from the government. Knowing the situa- 
tion, President Collier persuaded two of his former secretaries in Auburn, 
New York, to join his staff in Washington. The difficulties in staffing 
which might have been expected in a wartime capital were tragically 
increased by a lengthy influenza epidemic. On October 9, 1918, the presi- 
dent reported to the Board that all civilian activity in the University 
had been suspended by order of the Health Department. Four weeks of 


Reorganization and Relocation, 1910-1927 

instruction were lost and, in partial compensation, the academic year 
was extended to June 18, on which day the Commencement was held. 30 

The situation was particularly critical in the University Hospital at 
the height of the epidemic. The depleted staff, burdened with an im- 
possible load of work and laboring day and night, fell easy victims to 
the disease. The press reported that Miss Mary Glasscock, Superintendent 
of Nurses, had died of it and that Dr. Thomas Miller, Jr., of the medical 
staff and twenty-four nurses were prostrated with it. 

The new administration had a hectic beginning. As the second semester 
of 1918-1919 got under way, things brightened. In February, Abram 
Lisner, Trustee of the University, prominent merchant, and generous 
philanthropist, paid all outstanding indebtedness, amounting to $24,500, 
on the University’s property on G Street. As an evidence of its gratitude, 
the building at 2023 G Street was named Lisner Hall. 31 

The problem of making a decision with reference to the Medical and 
Dental Schools had been inherited from the preceding administration. 
There was much consultation, investigation, and debate, and finally an 
appraisal of the whole problem. In essence it could be stated with bald 
simplicity as follows: If the Medical and Dental Schools continued to 
operate under the same roof, neither could retain its “A” rating. If the 
Medical School were to continue alone, it would require a substantial 
annual subsidy guaranteed over and beyond receipts from fees, a remodel- 
ing of the property, and a marked increase in the number of full-time 
faculty. The Dental School seemed doomed. But even in the light of this 
probability a final series of consultations was held with Dean Carl J. Mess 
and the dental faculty to try to find some ways and means. None was 

The Board with great regret directed the closing of the Dental School 
at the end of the academic year 1919-1920. The entire Medical building, 
except the part temporarily occupied by the Chemistry Department of 
the College, was turned over to the Medical School, and $4,000 was 
made available for necessary remodeling. The Medical School was guaran- 
teed $25,000 annually from the general funds of the University, over and 
above receipts from fees; and at least twelve full-time teachers were 
authorized. The Board directed that an attempt be made to sell the prop- 
erty and to affiliate with a good hospital. Dean W. C. Borden was to com- 
municate, in person, these arrangements to the accrediting body and 
seek assurance that the “A” rating of the Medical School would be con- 
tinued. He succeeded in his mission. 


Bricks Without Straw 

The Veterinary College, an affiliated school, was discontinued. 32 

With the return of peace and the marked increase in the size of the 
student body, there was naturally a demand for more room. It would have 
been easy to be led into a major building program, but resources for any 
large expansion were lacking. The administration moved slowly and 
cautiously. Some additional houses were bought, and the May house at 
2022 G Street was rented to aiford more classroom space for arts and 
sciences classes. The purchase of 1435 K Street, facing McPherson Square, 
in which at one time the Department of Justice had been located, was 
authorized for the Law School at a cost of $145,000, and $25,000 was 
made available for remodeling. A gift of $5,000 by Harry Wardman, 
later a Trustee, reduced the cost to $140,000. The building thus acquired, 
as remodeled, was a distinct improvement over the quarters on the top 
floors of the Masonic Temple which the Law School had occupied for a 
decade. Its location was particularly convenient for employed students; 
and in comparison with the old quarters its five large lecture halls, four 
moot court rooms, library, and lounging room were commodious. 

Plans for an arts and sciences building on Twenty-first Street were 
drawn and laid before the Board, but action was postponed. The purchase 
of property by American University on F Street near Twentieth Street 
led anew to the consideration of a merger with that institution. Negotia- 
tions looking toward affiliation with an acceptable hospital continued, but 
neither the merger nor the affiliation was brought about. 33 

There was an important statement of policy embodied in the resolution 
authorizing the purchase of the McPherson Square property for the Law 
School. It was probably forgotten as in later years an unending debate 
went on as to the permanent location of the University. The circumstances 
that had brought about the purchase of 2023 G Street were entirely 
fortuitous. The rented buildings on Eye Street had been sold, the pur- 
chaser demanded possession, there was no place for the Department of 
Arts and Sciences and the administrative offices to go. Almost regardless 
of the location of St. Rose’s, the result would have been the same. The 
building was large, vacant, and reasonable in price. There was one choice 
and the University made it; but would it stay in the First Ward? The 
purchase of valuable property on McPherson Square, a mile or more 
distant from 2023 G Street, might have been taken as an indication that the 
question of location was still open. In the mind of the Trustees, it was not. 
The property which they purchased, it was realized, was in an area where 
values were being rapidly enhanced. They were assured that the property 

Reorganization and Relocation, 1910-1927 293 

was a sound investment, useful for the present as a Law School, but not 
to be held permanently. The Board, therefore, inserted in its resolution 
these very plain and positive words, “that the passage of this resolution 
does not change the permanent policy of the University to locate ulti- 
mately all of the activities [of the University] as far as practicable in the 
vicinity of the present buildings.” The decision had been made. 34 

As this basic decision for the future was being declared thus formally, 
an interesting echo from the past was heard. A letter was received by 
President Collier from the chairman of a committee of the Southern Baptist 
Convention asking to confer with a committee from the University on 
the resumption of Baptist control of the institution. The receipt of the 
letter was noted in the Minutes of the Board of Trustees and acknowl- 
edged by the president with a general statement of the University’s policy. 
A year later, in the fall of 1922, a second communication from the 
Southern Baptist Convention’s officers with reference to the same question 
was addressed to the president and the chairman of the Board. Once 
again, the communication was noted in the Minutes and acknowledged by 
President Hodgkins. In the spring of 1924, correspondence was again 
initiated by representatives of the Baptist Convention, proposing increased 
endowment and the transfer of control to the convention. After full con- 
sideration, a special committee of Trustees reported adversely on the 
proposition. The Committee’s report was approved, and President Lewis 
was directed to notify the officers of the Convention regarding the action 

As reasons for its decision the Board stated: 

1. There should be at the capital an undenominational institution 
seeking general support. 

2. The recent growth and prosperity of the University had been 
achieved since the severance of denominational ties. 

3. Large resources were expected to become available for an appeal 
for an undenominational institution. 

4. The recent campaign for funds had been based on an appeal for an 
undenominational institution. 

5. Such an institution was best fitted for education in the modem 
world. 35 

There had, no doubt, been times in the past when such proposals might 
have received a favorable reception, if the surrender of control brought 
with it financial salvation. The historical record was plain. The Congress 
was unwilling to grant a charter to the Baptist denomination; in formu- 

2%4 Bricks Without Straw 

lating the Charter that was given, it was careful to maintain the College’s 
independence of everybody, in fact, except the Attorney General with his 
right of investigation and the Congress itself with its right to amend the 
Charter. Such practical control as the denomination did have came 
through the provision in the earliest Charter for the elections of Trustees 
by the contributors and to a lesser extent by the limitation imposed by the 
lease of property of the College. The change in the method of electing 
Trustees and the transfer of the property in fee simple closed those two 
channels of influence. It was true that temporarily, from 1898 to 1904, a 
change in the Charter did require that the Board be made up of a sub- 
stantial number of Baptists. Hope for financial aid prompted the change, 
and failure to get the aid led to a speedy restoration of the old Charter 
provisions. In the view of the University, the question of sectarian control 
was answered forever. Denominational zeal had merely required a re- 
iteration of that answer. 

With the approach of the University’s Centennial, it was felt that the 
time was ripe to make the first major appeal for the raising of a substan- 
tial endowment fund. A committee on subscriptions and endowments, 
appointed in the spring of 1920, recommended that a campaign for funds 
to celebrate the Centennial be started shortly after November 1 5. It rec- 
ommended further the employment of a fund-raising firm to plan the 
campaign. Meanwhile the president was asked to visit major alumni centers 
to arouse interest and seek personal participation in obtaining a large 
sum to erect buildings for arts and sciences, law, and medicine, and to 
increase in a major fashion the size of the endowment. 36 

A happy augury for the success of any large effort was to be seen in 
the enthusiasm and spirit of the student body. This revived college spirit 
was obvious enough to lead to the adoption, for the first time in years, 
of a comprehensive system for the administration of student activities, 
proposed by the President’s Council and heartily accepted by the Trustees. 

A director of student activities, with faculty status, was to be appointed 
to administer a broad program supported by the funds paid into the 
treasury through a voluntary activities fee. The director would serve as 
chairman of a board of managers made up of faculty members appointed 
by the president of the University, alumni named by the president of the 
Alumni Association, and students elected by the Student Council. This 
board, superseding the old Faculty Committee and subject to the super- 
vision and control of the President’s Council, was given the direction of 
activities, the power to fix the amount of the voluntary fee and to appro- 

Reorganization and Relocation, 1910-192-1 299 

priate funds from the activities’ treasury, and the right to name coaches. 
The director was responsible for the academic status of members of 
teams, the protection of University property, and the arrangement of 
schedules, subject to the approval of the board of managers . 37 

President Collier enjoyed great popularity with the student body. He 
attended the major student parties and participated in them with obvious 
zest. He did not always enjoy the same unanimity of support in the 
faculty that his predecessors had had. There was at times vocal dissatis- 
faction, particularly over his budgetary arrangements and his interest in 
cultivating social and political contacts for the University. It was not so 
evident then in the rapid flux of affairs, but times had changed. President 
Stockton had assumed office at what was perhaps the nadir of the 
University’s fortunes. He and his team of experienced and devoted deans 
and administrators were the institution’s only hope. It was not humanly 
possible for a man to be more selfless in his administration than Charles 
Herbert Stockton. The confidence placed in him was justified in every 
way. He called for sacrifice, he accepted sacrifice, and men followed 
him. In eight years, he restored the University to solvency and reestab- 
lished its respect in the community. His problem was to hold the line, 
not too rigidly, but rigidly enough, and he did. 

President Collier had to cope with the problems created by the war in 
its later phases. He showed an industry, an ingenuity, and a resourceful- 
ness that were remarkable. But the war changed things. The student 
body grew rapidly and expansion was in the air. There was a sense of 
movement that could not be stilled. A new generation on the faculty 
was becoming vocal. The “Young Turks” did not always agree with the 
Old Guard, and at times one or both of them did not agree with the 
president. It was a wholesome sign, still no larger than a man’s hand, but 
it betokened growth. 

President Collier’s great personal contribution was that he brought to 
the University a marked degree of social acceptance in areas where its 
influence had been limited. His object in these matters was not always 
appreciated by his colleagues. He did his best to bring the University to 
the favorable notice of the wide social, political, and diplomatic circles 
within which he moved and to involve them in an interest in the institu- 
tion. He organized subscription series and public lectures by outstanding 
literary and public figures. Large formal dinners became characteristic 
events in the life of the institution. 

A major feature of the president’s policies was the formation of a 

Bricks Without Straw 


University Council made up of men and women of distinction who 
ordinarily might have been elected Trustees but who could not accept 
that responsiblity because of other commitments or distant residence. It 
was hoped that they might attend one meeting a year and give the 
University the benefit of their advice and support when called upon. 
The council consisted first of thirty members, ten of whom were elected 
each year by the Trustees for a three-year term. 38 

Elaborate academic ceremonies became an important part of the 
University’s life, with large delegations from official, diplomatic, and 
social Washington always present. It was reminiscent of the early days of 
the College when the President of the United States, his Cabinet, and a 
generous representation from the Congress regularly attended Commence- 
ment. To receive honorary degrees there was a notable procession of 
great figures: soldiers like Leonard Wood and John J. Pershing; statesmen 
like Herbert Hoover, then head of Belgian Relief; representatives of the 
arts like Julia Marlowe (Mrs. E. H. Sothern), the actress, and Vicente 
Blasco-Ibanez, author of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; figures 
in the world of finance like Otto H. Kahn; public men like Albert, King of 
the Belgians. 

The special convocation of October 30, 1919, in honor of the King of the 
Belgians was the first of the great convocations of the Collier administra- 
tion, the Centennial Convocation the last. So great was the expertise de- 
veloped in handling the numerous convocations that the Belgian Ambas- 
sador, Baron de Cartier de Marchienne, generously said that their precision 
compared favorably with that of the best court ceremonials he had seen. 

The Centennial of the University was celebrated in February, 1921, by 
a series of events. In a simple cermony on February 19, Brigadier General 
L. Collardet in the name of the French government presented to the 
University a German cannon captured at Verdun. The cannon was placed 
on the grounds of Woodhull House (then 2100 G Street). On the same 
day the Centennial Dinner of the Arts and Sciences students was held at the 
Willard Hotel, with the late Michael A. Musmanno, A.B. 1921, A.M. 1922, 
later Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, as toastmaster; and the 
Centennial Dinner of the Law School at the Franklin Square Hotel with 
L. Brooks Hays, LL.B. 1922, later Assistant to the President of the United 
States, as a student speaker, and Dean Roscoe Pound as the speaker of the 
evening. On Monday, February 21, 1921, the University Centennial Dinner 
was held at Rauscher’s, with speeches delivered by representatives from 
each of the major regions of the United States. Julia Marlowe read some of 


Reorganization and Relocation, 1910-1921 

the sonnets of Shakespeare. At the Centennial Convocation on February 22, 
President Charles A. Richmond of Union College gave the convocation 
address and William Bruce King of the Board of Trustees the commemora- 
tive address. Delegates from four foreign universities and 120 American 
institutions were in attendance. The days immediately following the con- 
vocation constituted the Centennial Junior Week, which included a re- 
ception at the Raleigh Hotel, a performance of Clyde Fitch’s The Truth, 
and the Junior Prom at Rauscher’s. Very significant were the elaborateness 
in planning and the enthusiastic participation of the student body in the 
programs of Centennial events. 39 

The celebration of the Centennial was basically social and uniformly 
festive in spirit; and the messages and greetings from the delegates of the 
universities, foreign and American, were highly laudatory. From a reading 
of the proceedings, it would appear that what was being celebrated was a 
chronological fact. But for those whose knowledge was more intimate, the 
commemorative address of William Bruce King alone suggested what was 
really being celebrated. A church-related college, in a century of striving, 
had thrown off all bonds of denominationalism, had struggled against lack 
of resources and, at the same time, against the clumsy handling of what it 
did have, had tardily recognized the error of its ways, and, chastened by 
experience, had had the courage and the leadership to overcome its dif- 
ficulties and, in a new home, to lay a sound foundation for the great uni- 
versity of the future — this was what was being celebrated, even though 
protocol does not permit such frankness on occasions of high ceremony. 

A few months after the Centennial celebration, two important figures 
departed from the University scene. On July 26, 1921, General Maxwell 
Van Zandt Woodhull died, and President Collier resigned as of August 31, 
1921, to become Ambassador to Chile. 

President Collier’s administration was a brief one. In financial administra- 
tion he followed generally the lines laid down by his predecessor. He con- 
tinued to acquire parcels of real estate in the G Street area. The generosity 
of Mr. Lisner removed for the time all indebtedness from the purchase of 
2023 G Street. By way of radical departure from the Stockton formula, a 
valuable property on K Street was acquired as a temporary home for the 
Law School, and the Medical School was guaranteed an annual subsidy of 
$25,000 above fees to insure the maintenance of required standards. The 
discontinuance of the Dental School, earlier foreshadowed, became a fact. 
There were consistent additions to and strengthening of the faculties. 
Finally, by his interest in politics and society, President Collier contributed 

Bricks Without Straw 


in a signal way to the growing acceptance of the institution in the larger 

General Woodhull’s place in the history of the University will always be 
recalled by Woodhull House, which he left to the University by will, 
because around that house has grown the great University of the present 
which he brought to G Street to be his neighbor. The last years of his life 
were devoted entirely to the institution and its concerns. His name was on 
every subscription list. His last military service was the organization in the 
University of those elite companies of the Coast Artillery which fought 
with such distinction in the Meuse-Argonne campaign. He was wise in 
council and astute in business, and his best talents were at the service of the 
University. As a mother broods over her child, Maxwell Van Zandt 
Woodhull watched over the University he had adopted as his own. 40 

When President Collier’s resignation became effective at the end of 
August, 1921, the Trustees naturally turned to Dean Howard Lincoln 
Hodgkins to be president pro tempore. Dr. Hodgkins had entered the 
Preparatory School in 1878, and had been associated with the University 
from that time. As a teacher of physics and mathematics, he had passed 
through all the academic grades — instructor to full professor — and had 
held, at the same time, various high administrative posts. For a generation 
he had been a principal adviser to the presidents of the University and, as 
the organization of the institution had evolved, had had as his bailiwick the 
schools and colleges included in the Department of Arts and Sciences — in a 
word, all but the Departments of Law and Medicine. At the same time, he 
had maintained close relations with the Alumni Association and with grad- 
uates throughout the world. A great teacher, a wise administrator, and a 
man of the highest integrity, he held the respect and esteem of his col- 
leagues, students, graduates, members of the community, and the academic 
world at large. The interim of two years when he served as acting president 
was not devoted to a mere holding operation, but was one of marked 

The search for President Collier’s successor began as soon as the vacancy 
occurred. The first choice of the Trustees fell upon an eminent scholar who 
had recently retired from a major post in a leading university. He was 
known to have definite ideas with reference to the development of the 
University and, with a group of associates of equal distinction, he prepared 
a detailed and well-matured statement of his concept and the means for 
its materialization. The booklet containing his statement was distributed 
confidentially to a small group. The project was an ambitious one, involving 


Reorganization and Relocation , i$io-i$2j 

the acquisition of a new campus to the west of the G Street campus, with 
a frontage on or very near Potomac Park; emphasis on graduate work and 
research; and the immediate raising of adequate funds for endowment and 
construction. An earnest effort was made to see if the requirements of 
the plan could be met. Considerable real estate was acquired in the area in- 
dicated and later sold with profit. When insuperable difficulties were con- 
fronted — first, the inability to acquire adequate land, and second, the failure 
to get support from the larger foundations — the project was abandoned and 
its initiator asked to have his name withdrawn. The Board was therefore 
back again to its original policy, stated so positively just three years before, 
of locating all the activities of the University ultimately in the vicinity of 
the G Street buildings. 41 

Dr. Hodgkins did not let the pursuit of the new idea halt development 
along the lines laid down by Admiral Stockton and continued by Dr. 
Collier. In characteristic words, President Hodgkins told the Board, “As I 
understand it, we must prove ourselves before others will help us. We 
must grow, slowly, but safely and sanely before we can receive the aid 
we have asked.” 42 

The Board had long discussed a campaign for funds in general terms, but 
specific to the extent that the campaign was to be tied in with the Centen- 
nial observance. Various fund-raising organizations had been consulted and 
the one to be employed had been chosen. A year after the Centennial, no 
drive was yet under way. At the president’s urging the Board decided to 
start the campaign in January, 1922, but there was to be a delay of still 
another year. 43 

Dr. Hodgkins, as a long-time dean, knew better than anyone else how 
great the need was for classrooms, laboratories, and offices, and for a con- 
stant increase in the size of the faculty. His first major move was modest 
enough in itself, but major in what it implied. He was going to expand, 
but in the spirit of the Stockton formula. At the annual meeting in May, 
1922, the Board authorized the purchase of 2014 H Street for $5,000 and the 
expenditure of $ ro,ooo for alterations in the buildings of the G Street group. 

Mr. Albert L. Harris presented a plan for the development of the whole 
square bounded by G, H, Twentieth, and Twenty-first Streets, half of 
which the University owned. The plan was worked out with the president. 
Eight units of similar construction and style, though with individual modi- 
fications, were to surround the square. It was recommended that the first 
unit be built on the northeast corner of Twenty-first and G Streets on a lot 
125 feet square, made up of the Woodhull property and 2027 G Street. 


Bricks Without Straw 

The first unit would serve as a classroom building. If construction were 
not deemed wise at the time, the offices of the president, secretary, treas- 
urer, and registrar were to be moved to Woodhull House. The third floor 
of 2101 G Street, used as a residence for three clerks, was to be vacated, 
and the second and third floors of the building were to be assigned to the 
Department of Architecture. The Department of Home Economics was 
to be moved into two University-owned buildings on Twentieth Street. A 
few months later the Committee on Buildings and Grounds was authorized 
to acquire as much property as possible on the east side of Twenty-first 
Street between G and H Streets. The effort was so successful that the 
Board decided to erect the building in the middle of the block instead of at 
the northeast comer of Twenty-first and G Streets; the cost was not to 
exceed $270,000. The new structure, named Corcoran Hall in honor of the 
great nineteenth-century patron of the institution, was the first building to 
be constructed after the reorganization of 1910. 44 

As President Hodgkins’ interim tenure came to a close, he was able to 
describe in his Annual Report of 1923 the extent of the progress made 
since the reorganization of 1910. For nine years there had been no deficit. 
Real estate worth $450,000 had been acquired, in which the University’s 
equity approached $350,000. In addition to $200,000 of the University’s 
current funds, $80,000 in gifts had been invested in property, at the expense 
of faculty salaries. He protested against this. In 1910, the Arts and Sciences 
faculty, which had been his special responsibility, had 15 full-time and 
17 part-time members. In 1922, the numbers were 41 full-time and 50 part- 
time. In 1910, Arts and Sciences had 681 students; in 1922, there were 
3,243. The rest of the University showed proportionate growth. 

President Hodgkins could report another substantial achievement. In 
1920, the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States had con- 
ducted its first inspection of the University. In two areas, there was 
trouble. The large number of part-time students, many of them listed as 
“special students,” made the University suspect to those who did not know 
of the peculiar situation which had developed in Washington since the 
War of 1861-1865. Moreover, the University could not show the half- 
million dollars in productive endowment which the commission looked 
upon as a minimum requirement. When it came to accreditation, the com- 
mission demurred. The skillful presentation of the University’s case by 
Dr. Hodgkins brought about the granting of the accreditation. 45 

The validity of what was called “night-school” work was not always as 
readily recognized as it is today. Frederick Rudolph in his history, The 

The Law School, 1435 K Street, 1921-1925. 

The Gymnasium, “The Tin Tabernacle,” on the south side of H Street west of 
Twentieth, at the time of its completion in 1924. 

North side of G Street, between Twentieth and Twenty-first Streets, c. 1932. Left 
to right: Woodhull House, Registrar’s Office, the Easby houses, 2023 G Street 
(Lisner Hall). 

Corner of Twentieth and G Streets, showing at the far left the Hall of Govern- 
ment, corner of Twenty-first and G Streets, Woodhull House, Alexander Graham 
Bell Hall, Lisner Library, Gilbert Stuart Hall and at the corner the office of the 
President; at right, residences used as offices and, at the extreme right, Stockton 
Hall, 1957. 

Corcoran Hall, 1924. (R. W Howard.) 

The Jacob Burns Law Library, 
1968, and Stockton Hall, 1925. 
(R. W. Howard.) 

Convocation in honor of H.M. Albert, King of the Belgians, 1919. Front row, 
from left to right: the Rt. Rev. Alfred Harding, Bishop of Washington; Col. 
Archibald Hopkins, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees; John Bell Larner, 
Chairman of the Board of Trustees; Elmer Louis Kavser, Secretary of the Univer- 
sity, standing with hood; Albert, King of the Belgians; Commissioner Henry B. 
Macfarland, Trustee; Col. Thomas Snell Hopkins, Trustee; President William 
Miller Collier, presenting diploma; the Duke of Brabant (later King Leopold III); 
Dr. Gilbert H. Grosvenor, President of the National Geographic Society, Trustee; 
Ernest L. Thurston, Superintendent of Schools, Trustee. 

Delegates to the inauguration of University President William Mather Lewis at 
the White House, 1923, with President Calvin Coolidge. Chief Justice William 
Howard Taft was the delegate of Yale University. 

Convocation in honor of the Rt. Hon. Ramsay MacDonald, Prime Minister of 
Great Britain, 1929. The British Ambassador, Sir Esme Howard, stands at the 
Prime Minister’s left, President Cloyd Heck Marvin at his right; in the rear, 
between President Marvin and the Prime Minister is Dean William Allen Wilbur 
of Columbian College. 

President Marvin receiving H.M. Prajadhipok, King of Siam, at the Convocation 
in his honor (1931). Dr. Leo S. Rowe, Director of the Pan American Union, 
stands at the extreme left. 

University Hospital, at Washington Circle, Twenty-second, Twenty-third, Eye 
Streets and Pennsylvania Avenue, 1948. 

Cloyd Heck Marvin, twelfth Presi- Oswald Symister Colclough, Acting 

dent, 1927-1959. (University Collec- President, 1959-1961, 1964-1965. 

tion. ) (University Collection. ) 


Thomas Henry Carroll, thirteenth 
President, 1961-1964. (University 
Collection. ) 

Lloyd Hartman Elliott, fourteenth 
President, 1965- . (University 

Collection. ) 

Warwick Memorial, Washington Circle, 1954. 


Reorganization and Relocation, 1910-1921 

American College and University, states that the City College of New York 
in 1909 inaugurated the first night-school course of study leading to a 
bachelor’s degree. 46 As a matter of fact, Corcoran Scientific School, from 
its very beginning in 1884, offered courses leading to the baccalaureate 
degree for students taking late courses exclusively. 

The Hodgkins interim was a productive one. Wise, sane leadership 
carried the University forward without any break in succession or any 
agonizing transition. Dr. Hodgkins had added to his already great stature. 
Returning to his office as dean of the University, he continued in his role 
as an active elder statesman during the administration of William Mather 
Lewis and the early part of Cloyd Heck Marvin’s presidency. Howard 
Lincoln Hodgkins was perhaps the only one ever connected with the 
University who knew the institution in each of its three locations. He had 
been a student at College Hill and taught in the old Prep, a professor and 
dean when the University was located on H Street, and a mainstay of the 
institution as it regathered its forces in its third home and laid its sure 
foundation for the future. 

The election of William Mather Lewis (1878-1945) as president of 
the University on May 31, 1923, brought to an end the interim tenure 
of Dr. Hodgkins. The new president had been headmaster of Lake Forest 
Academy and director of the savings division of the Treasury Depart- 
ment; at the time of his election, he was chief of educational service of 
the Chamber of Commerce of the United States. 

Formal inaugural ceremonies were held in the late afternoon of Novem- 
ber 7, 1923, in Memorial Continental Hall. Delegates from 161 foreign 
and American colleges and universities and from 21 learned and profes- 
sional societies were present. Yale’s representative was William Howard 
Taft, the Chief Justice of the United States. Preceding the inaugural 
luncheon, President Calvin Coolidge received the delegates at the White 
House. The academic procession formed in the Pan American Union 
building and moved across the street to the hall. After the invocation 
was given by the Right Reverend James E. Freeman, Bishop of Washing- 
ton, John B. Larner, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University, 
delivered a brief introductory address. Greetings were then brought to 
President Lewis from the faculty by Dean Howard L. Hodgkins; from 
the alumni by Samuel Herrick; from the colleges by President William 
Wistar Comfort, of Haverford; from the universities by President Liv- 
ingston Farrand, of Cornell; from the federal government by John J. 
Tigert, Commissioner of Education. President Lewis, being then inducted 


Bricks Without Straw 

into office, delivered his inaugural address. The Reverend W. S. Aber- 
nethy, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, pronounced the benediction. 
A large reception for the whole University community was held in the 
New Willard Hotel in the evening, with music by Meyer Davis. 

The elaborateness of the inaugural ceremonies in no way indicated an 
intention to change policy and to strike out along entirely new lines. 
President Lewis in his brief administration of four years (1923-1927) fol- 
lowed the conservative and constructive policy of cautious expansion 
which had been the rule since the reorganization of 1910. The purchase 
of land in the square bounded by G, H, Twentieth, and Twenty-first 
Streets and in the immediate vicinity continued, but the University’s 
interest in the area was reflected in the higher costs of real estate. The 
parcels which the University was now acquiring ran in price from $25,000 
to $40,000. There was a healthy increase in gifts for endowment — mod- 
erate in size, it is true, but significant as a welcome sign of public interest. 
Work on Corcoran Hall went steadily forward in the early months of 
the new administration, and the building was dedicated on October 28, 
1924, with John B. Larner, the Chairman of the Board, giving the dedica- 
tory address. 

The growth of athletics and the development of work in physical edu- 
cation pointed up dramatically the need for a gymnasium. The purchase 
of real estate on H Street, west of Twentieth Street, made available a 
modest-sized lot for the purpose. On the president’s recommendation, 
$23,000 was appropriated for the construction of a building for tem- 
porary use. The gymnasium proper, 140 by 60 feet, was made of pre- 
fabricated materials, and a brick structure on the front of the site was 
remodeled for locker rooms and shower rooms in harmony with the new 
construction. In spite of strenuous efforts to achieve the utmost economy, 
when the appropriation was used up there were no funds for the flooring. 
A gift of $2,000 in Liberty Bonds, subscribed by the students during the 
World War, and a matching amount added by the Trustees paid for 
the flooring. Thus came into existence the noble structure, named by the 
secretary “The Tin Tabernacle,” often maligned but still used. 47 

An offer from Harry Wardman to purchase the Law School property 
on McPherson Square for $250,000, subject to a mortgage of $70,000, 
and to erect a new building on Twentieth Street at a cost not to exceed 
$250,000, made it possible to bring another large unit into the university 
grouping. The new building, on the eastern face of the square opposite 
Corcoran Hall, was designed as the second unit in the Harris Plan for the 

Reorganization and Relocation, i$io-i$2j 243 

development of the whole square. The cornerstone was laid on December 
12, 1924, by the Grand Lodge of Masons of the District of Columbia, 
using the marble gavel which General Washington had used when he 
laid the southeast cornerstone of the Capitol on September 18, 1793. Not 
only was the University’s patron saint a Mason, but Luther Rice, its 
founder, was also a member of the order. The new Law School building 
was named Stockton Hall after Admiral Charles H. Stockton, president 
of the University from 1910 to 1918. 48 

For a time it seemed that the announced plan to bring all the units of 
the University together was in jeopardy. The possibility of an affiliation 
with an existing hospital as desirable from the standpoint of both economy 
and improved facilities had long been in mind. Various soundings had 
been made without any real progress. In the last year of the Lewis admin- 
istration, the possibility of an affiliation with Garfield Memorial Hospital, 
together with a working arrangement with the Washington Home for 
Foundlings, which administered the Warwick bequest for cancer re- 
search, brought about new and direct negotiations. Articles of agreement 
were adopted by the three institutions, looking toward their combination 
as a nucleus for a hospital center located at the Garfield site. 

In essence, the agreement provided that each of the organizations 
would continue its corporate existence and control, but the University 
would have priority as far as all teaching rights were concerned. The 
University was to sell the Hospital, Dispensary, and Medical buildings on 
H Street as soon as practicable and with the proceeds erect a new medical 
building in the vicinity of Garfield. Garfield was to lease to the Wash- 
ington Home for Foundlings, at an annual rental of $25,000, ground 
within its property for the erection of a building for the care and treat- 
ment of women with cancer, to be known as “The Helen L. and Mary E. 
Warwick Memorial.” The University was to turn over to the new center 
all income from hospital endowment funds. The Nurses School at Gar- 
field was to be continued as “The Washington Medical Center Nurses 
Training School.” While the University did purchase lots on Sherman 
Avenue, near Garfield, the H Street buildings were not sold and the 
project never took form. In the course of time different arrangements 
were made by the three parties, and the University proceeded to develop 
its own Medical Center at Washington Circle with the Warwick Memo- 
rial related to it. The agreement was formally abrogated in 1929. 49 

Numerous changes in key personnel occurred during the early 1920’s. 
Dean Charles E. Munroe, who had charted the course of the School of 

Bricks Without Straw 


Graduate Studies, was succeeded on his retirement by Professor George 
N. Henning. Dean Merton L. Ferson of the Law School resigned, and 
his place was taken by Professor William C. Van Vleck. When Dean 
W. C. Ruediger retired as Director of the Summer School, he was suc- 
ceeded in that post by Professor Elmer Louis Kayser. On Dean Henry 
E. Kalusowski’s death, Dr. Louis F. Bradley became Dean of the School 
of Pharmacy; and on Dean Hugh Miller’s resignation, Professor John R. 
Lapham became Dean of the School of Engineering. 

The sudden death of Profesor Hermann Schoenfeld (1861-1926) of 
the Department of German, and the retirement, at an advanced age, 
of Professor Charles Clinton Swisher (1846-1940) of the Department of 
History — both men of great distinction who had served the University 
since the time of President Whitman — underscored dramatically the fact 
that the institution, hampered by meager finances and absorbed in its own 
problems, had failed to set up any system of pensions for retired pro- 
fessors or their dependents. The Board adopted as a policy the retirement 
of members of the faculty and university officers at the age of sixty-five 
with a possibility of continuing in active service on annual tenure to the 
age of seventy. The Board’s committee recommended that the University 
make an arrangement with the Teacher’s Insurance and Annuity Associ- 
ation for pensions for its staff. Such an arrangement was not made until 
eighteen years later, on July 30, 1945, when the Board passed the first of 
several comprehensive and increasingly generous retirement resolutions. 
In the interim, modest retirement allowances were granted as the occasion 
arose on the retirement of full-time eligible staff members. 50 

By the time President Lewis’ administration came to a close, the Uni- 
versity was well over a hundred years old. It had celebrated its Centennial 
with high ceremony under President Collier. Under President Lewis it 
marked the one-hundredth anniversary of its first Commencement, with 
M. J. J. Jusserand, the Ambassador of France and distinguished scholar 
and warm friend of the University, delivering the commemorative ad- 

The period which began with the reorganization of 1910 under Presi- 
dent Stockton and ended with the administration of President Lewis 
constitutes a distinct epoch in the history of the University. There was 
the definite and controlling conviction that the only policy which would 
strengthen and renew the institution was one of slow and cautious ex- 
pansion, always within the limited means of the University. There was 
a steadily increasing flow of modest gifts, but no princely ones. The 


Reorganization and Relocation , 1 $10- 1927 

major source of income was student fees. From what was at hand, the 
costs of instruction and maintenance were met, limited amounts were 
earmarked for the restoration of the endowment, and cautious expendi- 
tures were made for real estate and construction. This policy had seemed 
to pay off, even though it was a dubious one educationally. The admin- 
istrators of the University were well indoctrinated in the policy and 
developed great expertise in its application. They maintained an institu- 
tion that was financially stable, educationally decent, and, in its own 
view, outstanding. Its eminent roster of graduates, in terms of outcome, 
justified this point of view. 

For the educational purist, however, there were some hard questions 
to answer. Was this uniqueness an asset or a liability? To be able to give 
an educational plant double use was, of course, a happy condition. But 
how could a student, employed for a full day’s work, do a standard job 
in the classroom and laboratory after hours? The University’s answer 
was that this was a unique condition that existed here. Hundreds of these 
employed students were in Washington through political patronage, quite 
deliberately bestowed so that young people, otherwise excluded finan- 
cially, could obtain a college education. This was fixed policy with many 
members of the Congress. Speaker Cannon with his considerable patron- 
age made college study possible for a large number, canceling the 
patronage as soon as a course was completed so that others could have a 

The purist was critical of the numbers of part-time teachers. This 
situation, however, had a dual base. It was a way to get teachers, often 
at a reasonable cost, but the teachers were frequently men of great scien- 
tific ability whose services could not otherwise be obtained. The Univer- 
sity had no misgivings, but satisfaction with slow growth along familiar 
lines could breed inertia. 

Any dangers on this score were minimized by the increasingly vocal 
activities of a faculty group outside the administration. They were un- 
willing that the University remain a closed corporation, meeting its own 
standards to its own satisfaction. They sought immediate and unques- 
tioned acceptance in the larger college community. The members of the 
faculty were feeling a new sense of pride and achievement in the recogni- 
tion that was coming to their colleagues in such forms as the award of 
the Pulitzer Prize in History to Professor Samuel Flagg Bemis in 1927 
for his Pinckney’s Treaty and the acclaim given Professor Robert F. 
Griggs for the scientific results of his explorations in the Katmai region 

Bricks Without Straw 


in Alaska. “High Standards” was the battlecry. In the College and in the 
professional schools marked progress was made. The Medical School was 
challenged but won its “A” rating. The Middle States Association was at 
first reluctant but it then granted accreditation. It was the beginning of 
the movement which, in time, brought the highest accreditation to all 
of the University’s departments and to its students full access to academic 
honors, such as Phi Beta Kappa. The going was slow at first. The Ameri- 
can Association of University Women was dubious because there were 
so few women on the faculty. The Association of American Universities 
criticized the admission of special students, the number of part-time 
faculty members, deficiencies in library and laboratory equipment and 
housing, and the character of some degrees. The old protective depend- 
ence on uniqueness gave way to a desire to meet all comers on their 
own grounds, and to achieve in full whatever standard any accrediting 
agency required. 51 The troublesome question of inadequate endowment 
was to remain a standing challenge. 

President Needham had felt the need of fuller student activities as a 
necessary step in humanizing the College and had used the full weight 
of his office to encourage such a development. Thanks to the leadership 
and industry of a small group of gifted students, considerable success 
had been achieved. The much more remarkable expansion of extracur- 
ricular activities in the decade following World War I was due entirely 
to the dynamism of a versatile group of undergraduate men and women 
who brought forth, with faculty support in many cases, an amazingly 
varied program. Through all the changes the Hatchet and the Cherry 
Tree maintained a schedule of regular publication and were a continuing 
feature of student life. 

The reorganization of 1910 had brought about an almost complete 
cessation of all forms of competitive athletics. Student demand and the 
warm support of Dean Fraser of the Law School made possible a resump- 
tion of an athletic program, financed by a voluntary student activities 
tax. The entrance of the United States into World War I ended that 
effort very quickly. The post-World War renewal began in 1920 with 
the adoption of a comprehensive body of regulations for the control of 
student activities, supported by a voluntary fee and supervised by a 
director who was given faculty status. Four years later a student activities 
fee of $8 per year was made compulsory for all students taking more 
than six hours of work. On this firm financial base, a relatively elaborate 
system of activities began to take form. The construction of a gymnasium 


Reorganization and Relocation, 1910-1927 

at this time was part of the evolving program. 52 The Handbook for 1925- 
1926 listed intercollegiate athletic competition in football, basketball, 
track, tennis, rifle, swimming, golf, wrestling, and baseball for men; in 
basketball, tennis, swimming, rifle, hockey, and fencing for women. 

The rapidity with which the resumed program got under way is in- 
dicated by a statement in the Handbook for 1921-1922: “It is a matter 
of record that George Washington University maintained athletics on 
a larger scale and for a greater number of students than any other insti- 
tution in the South Atlantic Division last year.” 53 

During the preceding year, a third publication had been added to the 
weekly and the annual, a comic magazine of wit and satire called The 
Ghost. There were clubs galore: Men’s Glee Club, Masonic Club, 
Women’s Legal Club, Architectural Club, Art Society, Chemical Society, 
Engineering Society, Enosinian Society, El Circulo Espanol, Players, and 
many others. The Faculty Club dates also from this period. Organized 
in the fall of 1920, it maintained club rooms at 719 Twenty-first Street. 

There were chapters of ten national fraternities, all maintaining houses 
and formed into an Interfraternity Association; four national sororities 
and four locals, represented on the Pan Hellenic Council; and numerous 
professional fraternities and sororities. The senior honor societies were 
Pyramid for men, Sphinx for women, and Sigma Tau for junior and 
senior engineers. The great formal social occasions were the Interfrater- 
nity Prom, the Junior Prom, and the Pan Hell Prom. Less formal major 
occasions were the Interfraternity Smokers, and the May Fete Carnival, 
a masked ball later superseded by the outdoor May Fiesta. 

The growth in the number of student organizations was phenomenal. 
For example, in place of a single dramatic association four were formed, 
each emphasizing a different type of drama, and united in an overall 
association. Each spring a dramatic festival ran for a full week with 
crowded audiences. The versatile old gymnasium, fitted with stage, cur- 
tains, and apparatus for lighting and scenic effects, served as the theater. 

The University’s high standing in debate was maintained in contests 
with teams from the principal eastern universities and from Oxford and 

It is hard to realize that the student body which maintained this 
elaborate program of activity was located in a university plant which 
covered only about two-thirds of the square bounded by G, H, Twentieth 
and Twenty-first Streets, and four houses facing the square. 

When Harry W. (“Maud”) Crum succeeded Bryan Morse as director 

Bricks Without Straw 


of activities and football coach, the success of his teams led to increased 
mention in the press, with the University’s athletes referred to as 
“Hatchetites” or “Crum-men.” These names were particularly obnoxious 
to President Lewis because of their lack of any euphony. He asked the 
secretary to find a better name and try to get it accepted. The name 
suggested was “Colonials” and it has stuck. 

The origin of the present extensive food service of today’s University 
is to be found in the modest tearoom established during 1920- 1921 by 
Beatrice Wilkins Tait, A.B. 1921 (Mrs. Charles P. Trussell), and her 
associate, the late Mrs. Lawrence Smoot (Mildred Duvall). With quarters 
in the basement of 2024 G Street, which had been properly equipped 
and tastefully furnished, this very popular spot, famed equally for its 
food and its sociability, was appropriately named “The Rabbit Hole.” 
After a year Catherine Tonge, A.B. 1921 (the late Mrs. George L. Bowen) 
took over. Within a few years “The Rabbit Hole” was succeeded by the 
first University cafeteria in the first-floor rooms of 2022 G Street. 54 

By the time that President Lewis’ administration came to a close, the 
ideas underlying the reorganization of 1910 had been brought to their 
conclusion. By their careful observance the reorganization had made 
possible, within a limited point of view, a stable University, solvent both 
financially and educationally and enjoying wide respect. Having an ex- 
tensive acquaintance in the business community, President Lewis had 
involved many of its leaders in an intimate and helpful relationship with 
the University. A speaker of great ability and charm, eagerly sought 
after by many organizations, he had been able to carry the message of 
the institution far and wide. Within the accepted formula, he continued 
with great success and good will the policies of Presidents Stockton, 
Collier, and Hodgkins. 

For seventeen years, the presidents had been putting down foundations. 
The question to be asked was, could those foundations support a larger 
structure than the limited one which extreme caution had built? Presi- 
dent Lewis’ successor gave an affirmative answer. As soon as President 
Lewis tendered his resignation, a Trustees’ committee began the search 
for a successor. After a few months, two nominations were laid before 
the Board. A communication from a representative group of the teaching 
staff informed the Trustees that one of the nominees was not favored 
by the faculty. The other one was unanimously elected to take office 
on August 1, 1927. Thus began the thirty-two-year administration of 
Cloyd Heck Marvin. 55 


The ^Marvin Sra 


T he new president’s administration, the longest in the University’s 
history, was to be a period of kaleidoscopic change in the relations 
of men and nations. It began while the great boom was still on, although 
the storm signals were beginning to go up. The Panic of 1929 was soon 
here. Then came the years of the Great Depression and, foreshadowed 
in the days of Hoover, the varied expedients in social and economic 
reform of the Rooseveltian New Deal. The old world order, whatever 
there was of it, collapsed. The idea of collective security became a 
mockery. Authoritarian philosophies took over governments and seated 
dictators. A new general war broke out, world wide in its extent and, 
thanks to modern technology, more intense than any war that had pre- 
ceded it. Then a tardy and uncertain peace, that was no peace, prevented 
the reconciliation that peoples hoped for and demanded. The new United 
Nations began more and more to look like the old League of Nations 
as the Four Horsemen continued to ride over a disjointed world and 
threaten to extend their depredations even into outer space. In this age 
the directing of a university was no small task. 

Cloyd Heck Marvin (1889-1969) at the time of his election as twelfth 
president of the University was only thirty-eight years old. He had already 
had a substantial background as a college teacher in the field of economics 
and as a university administrator as dean in the University of California at 
Los Angeles and president of the University of Arizona. None of his 
predecessors had brought to his task a fuller professional preparation, 
yet he was but slightly known to the members of the faculty and to a 


Bricks Without Straw 

majority of the Board of Trustees who elected him with a confidence 
greatly strengthened by the recommendation of his friend Herbert 
Hoover, then Secretary of Commerce. 

The new president immediately made his presence felt. Within a few 
weeks of his election he was in Washington, busily preparing office space 
for his occupancy and planning the reorganization of the University. By 
the time the Board met in the fall of 1927, he was ready to take the first 
steps. The formula which had governed the University’s administration 
since 1910 was about to be laid aside. President Marvin was not particu- 
larly impressed by the abilities of his predecessors or by their achieve- 
ments. There were two sides to the question, however. Descending sud- 
denly on a new scene, he did not fully appreciate the way Stockton had 
saved the University, restored it to solvency, and reclaimed for it the 
respect of the community. He did not realize how opportunely Collier 
had reintroduced the institution to the official and social world, or how, 
by cultivating the business community, Lewis had brought into helpful 
relation with the University a new and larger group of civic leaders. He 
was not impressed by the loyal and unrelenting toil of Hodgkins and 
his profound understanding of the University’s history and problems. 
The facts he granted; but their full significance, the essential nature of 
what they did, he did not grasp. “It may be,” he wrote, “that the years of 
travail and marking time have served to keep and ready the University 
for this day and those yet to come.” 1 In that spirit he went about his 
reorganization. As the years went on he became more and more convinced 
that the year 1927 marked the great divide. 

There was also the other side to the question. The 1910 formula had 
been worked out almost to its logical conclusion. It had fulfilled its 
function, which was to reestablish the soundness of the institution. In a 
way, the Harris Plan for the development of Square 102 through the 
construction of eight large units enclosing the area graphically illustrated 
the 1910 formula. With two units — Corcoran and Stockton Halls — already 
built, Marvin rejected the Harris Plan, the architectural concept of a 
university idea compressed within a city block. He embarked on a pro- 
gram of physical expansion and centralized control. 

Looking back more than a quarter of a century, he stated in 1954 “the 
basic problems that confronted the University in 1927.” Briefly sum- 
marized, they were: 

1. The establishment of an effective university organization; 

The Marvin Era, 1927-11)59 251 

2. The organization of the Board of Trustees so as to make for 
unity of administration; 

3. Setting up a financial structure which would support the services 
of the University; 

4. Determination of the location of the University in specific terms; 

5. Setting up the objectives of the University; 

6. Provision of adequate housing; 

7. Development of academic responsibility of the personnel. 2 

The new president moved rapidly toward the reorganization of the 
University. At his first Board meeting he announced that the form of 
presenting minutes and reports had been changed. Up to this time, the 
form of minutes adopted by the Board at its first meeting in 1821 had been 
followed. At the same meeting a significant modification was made in the 
educational organization of the University. The Departments of Arts and 
Sciences, Law, and Medicine were dropped, and in their place the follow- 
ing were approved as units: Columbian College, the Graduate School, the 
School of Education, the School of Engineering, the Law School, the 
School of Medicine, the School of Pharmacy, the Summer Sessions, and 
the Division of Library Science. This was a great deal more than a 
change in nomenclature. 

What had happened can be understood by borrowing feudal terms by 
way of illustration. The educational domain had consisted of three 
great fiefs: Arts and Sciences, Law, and Medicine, each presided over by 
a great feudatory (the dean) under a suzerain (the president), who, in 
effect, reigned but did not rule. Each of the great fiefs was now broken 
down into its component parts, presided over by a vassal, in the medieval 
sense, of the great feudatory. By the change, in terms of power, the 
great feudatories no longer existed, and their former vassals became 
directly answerable to the suzerain, who now moved into a sovereign posi- 

It is easy to account historically for the growth of this system which 
was changed by the reorganization of 1927. The Department of Arts 
and Sciences was essentially the old Columbian College in the District 
of Columbia in 1821. It was the trunk of the educational tree from which 
branches had grown from time to time as the widening concept of the 
liberal arts and sciences, as referred to in the Charter, had resulted in the 
creation of a more complex system. This Department of Arts and Sciences 
had come in time to include both graduate and undergraduate branches 


Bricks Without Straw 

in the liberal arts and sciences, education, engineering, and other special- 
ized areas generally related to the liberal arts and sciences, their theory, 
and their practice. As the president, in the language of the Charter, had 
been “the Chief Master” of the College, so the dean of Arts and Sciences 
had become “the Chief Master” of the educational organization that had 
grown from the old College. 

The right of the College to engage in educating youth outside of “the 
English, learned, and foreign languages: the liberal arts and sciences, and 
literature,” as specified in the Charter, had been, in fact, strenuously 
challenged by a group of citizens in a memorial to the Congress dated 
February 20, 1826, although their position was not sustained. While the 
Medical School was organized and began its work in 1825 as a depart- 
ment of the College, and there was some interchange of professors, finan- 
cially the school was on its own for decades, the faculty finding its 
quarters and financing its operation through student fees. The College 
Trustees appointed the members of the medical faculty as nominated to 
them and conferred the degree on candidates certified by the faculty. This 
condition of financial autonomy and faculty independence was gradually 
changed and the Medical Department was brought under University 
control. The changing requirements of medical education, if no other 
reason, made this necessary. Not only was self-support impossible for 
a modern medical school, but a guaranteed annual subvention from the 
University funds became a basic requirement. 

The case of the Law School, when legal education was resumed in 
1865, was somewhat similar. The large number of students who, un- 
restricted by exacting entrance requirements, crowded into the Law 
School in its early years produced a revenue adequate at the time to 
cover instructional costs and to produce a surplus. The increase in ad- 
mission requirements, the growing need for added library materials 
and adequate housing, and the addition of daytime courses, together with 
other factors, changed the position of the Law School and made its 
full integration into the University organization necessary. 

Before the changes of 1927 the annual budget had been largely made 
up of three parts, each prepared by one of the deans for the activities 
under his supervision, combined by the treasurer, approved by the presi- 
dent, and submitted to the Board. Attempts on the part of the president 
to modify it at times brought about clashes of authority in which the 
presidents did not always prevail. As a result of the 1927 change, a true 
University budget was initiated, brought together by the administration. 3 


The Marvin Era, 1927-1 9 5 9 

Natural causes transpired to ease the transition. Illness forced the res- 
ignation of Dr. William Cline Borden (1857-1934) in 1930 after twenty- 
one years’ service as Dean of the Medical School. On February 19, 1931, 
Dean Howard Lincoln Hodgkins died after a period of illness, and on 
December 10 of the same year John Bell Lamer (1858-1931), Chairman 
of the Board of Trustees, passed away. 

Dean Borden was a graduate of the Medical School in the class of 
1883. Shortly thereafter he passed the examination of the Army Medical 
Board and reported for duty as an Acting Assistant Surgeon, pending 
the receipt of his commission as First Lieutenant and Assistant Surgeon, 
at the headquarters of the Department of The Platte at Omaha. Thus 
began a quarter of a century of distinguished service in the Army, which 
ended with his retirement in 1908 because of a heart condition. Not the 
least of his outstanding achievements were a successful campaign for the 
establishment of Walter Reed General Hospital, his selection of the site, 
and the planning and beginning of its actual construction. At a time of 
crisis in the University and the Medical School, Colonel Borden was 
elected Professor of Surgery, succeeding the late Dr. Ford Thompson, and 
Dean of the School. His persuasive power, his energy, and his resource- 
fulness gained and held a distinguished position for the school. His 
eminence as a surgeon and a teacher gave added luster to the record of a 
remarkable man. 4 

Howard Lincoln Hodgkins, Dean of the University, had as his 
special bailiwick the Department of Arts and Sciences. A graduate of 
the class of 1883 in the College, he had served the University in varied 
capacities from tutor in the Preparatory School while he was still a 
student, to president ad interim following the resignation of President 
Collier. 5 

John Bell Larner, LL.B. 1879, LL.D. (hon.) 1904, was for twenty-one 
years chairman of the Board of Trustees, the important post which had 
been held by such distinguished figures as the Reverend Obadiah B. 
Brown, Colonel James L. Edwards, Amos Kendall, and W. W. Corcoran. 
Prominent in civic affairs and in the banking community, Mr. Larner 
was for many years president of the Washington Loan and Trust Com- 
pany. Elected a Trustee in 1899, and chairman of the Board in 1910, he 
served until his death in 1931. His official career covered a critical period 
in the life of the University. 6 Not only the old organization, but its 
major figures were disappearing. 

Following closely on the discontinuance of the Departments of Arts 


Bricks Without Straw 

and Sciences, Law, and Medicine, and the approval of the individual 
schools and colleges, the Trustees accepted the president’s new listing of 
departments of instruction and created a Division of Fine Arts. Later these 
departments were grouped in divisions, each division having its own 
divisional organization and being charged with the overall educational 
supervision of its constituent departments of instruction. While the 
traditional independence of departments was strong enough to prevent 
any thoroughgoing application of the divisional idea, nevertheless a 
searching reappraisal of courses by divisional committees proved to be of 
great value. 7 

Attention was next given to the recodification of the bylaws of the 
Board of Trustees. In the new bylaws, the Board was authorized to 
designate a vice president, not at the time “a professor or tutor,” and to 
accord him status as an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees. The 
officers of the Board were henceforth to be a chairman, a vice chairman, 
a secretary, and an assistant secretary elected annually by ballot. In the 
new bylaws there was no reference to the office and duties of the secretary 
of the University, or to the office and duties of the treasurer of the Univer- 
sity. Section 9 dealing with the Committee on Finance referred to the 
University comptroller, the new designation of the principal financial 
officer of the University. The previous bylaws had provided only for an 
executive committee, a finance committee, and visiting committees. The 
new bylaws omitted the visiting committees from among the standing 
committees, listing the Executive Committee and the Committees on 
Educational Policy, University Libraries and Museums, Alumni Rela- 
tions, Honors, Nomination of Trustees, Legal Affairs, Finance, Buildings 
and Lands, Endowment Funds, Personnel, Extracurricular Activities, 
and Public Relations. The multiplicity of standing committees indicated 
the broad front on which the president planned to operate with his 
Trustees. 8 

The duties originally assigned to the secretary of the University by 
the bylaws were distributed among other officers. As they related to the 
Board of Trustees, they had been transferred to the secretary of the 
Board of Trustees. The registrar became ex officio the secretary of all 
academic bodies and the keeper of the great seal of the University; the 
officer who was eventually designated as the administrative secretary took 
over most of the administrative functions. Article VI of the old bylaws 
had provided that the secretary “shall give to any meeting at which he 
is entitled to be present any information concerning University affairs 

The Marvin Era , 1921-1959 255 

which he may have and which may be proper to be brought before such 
meeting.” Obviously this function of communication could no longer 
be discharged. 9 

The old educational ordinance was entirely recast. Details of organiza- 
tion and matters of educational policy were covered in special resolutions 
of the Board acting on recommendations of the faculties. A code govern- 
ing academic personnel was established, including a system of sabbatical 
leave. The President’s Council, which under the former ordinance had 
had charge of all administrative educational questions, was discontinued. 
A committee on educational policy partially took its place, but it was 
not until the institution of the present University Senate that a body 
was created with a similar composition and functions. 10 

In the course of the reorganization, a significant reassignment of areas 
was made by separating the freshman and sophomore years from the 
junior and senior years and assigning them to an autonomous Junior 
College. The junior and senior years in the College and the additional 
year leading to the Master of Arts degree were assigned to Columbian 
College, the departments of which were organized into four divisions: 
languages and literatures, mathematics and the physical sciences, the 
natural sciences, and the social sciences. An independent study plan 
was established to permit original work by students of demonstrated 
ability. Work in the Graduate Council leading to the degree of Doctor 
of Philosophy was organized on “a master-apprentice relation” which 
was conceived of as professional research training. 11 

Even as brief an account as this of the reorganization of 1927 and the 
years immediately following indicates the drive, vigor, and imagination 
of President Marvin. While the changes came about for the major part 
with the recommendation of the faculties, the initiative was invariably 
the president’s, and he had cordial support. The Trustees received his 
statements with uniform appreciation and gratitude, and their Minutes 
record frequent resolutions of the most enthusiastic nature. In the fall of 
1930, President Marvin was able to report, with great satisfaction, that 
in spite of the existing economic depression and general falling off of 
registrations elsewhere, there had been more than a 6 per cent increase in 
student charges for the semester. “With a full realization of the power 
that is beginning to manifest itself,” he said, “the shifting political situa- 
tions, that many times have been looked upon as a deterrent, may be 
thought of as adding strength to the University, for in the last analysis, 
it will be the stable element in the community.” 12 

Bricks Without Straw 


There were many tangible evidences of “the power that is beginning 
to manifest itself.” Distinguished rulers and statesmen were officially 
received by the University and honored by the award of its doctorate, 
honoris causa. Among them in these first years were Ramsay MacDonald, 
Prime Minister of Great Britain; Prajadhipok, King of Siam; and Pascual 
Ortiz Rubio, President of Mexico. At the request of the Italian govern- 
ment, a special convocation addressed by Ambassador Giacomo de 
Martino and greeted by cable by Mussolini was held to celebrate the bimil- 
lennial of the birth of the poet Virgil. 13 At the February Convocation of 
1929, honorary degrees were conferred upon President and Mrs. Coolidge. 

In 1929, a circle of Omicron Delta Kappa was installed, and the same 
year the University was placed on the accredited list of the American 
Association of University Women. 

On October 29, 1930, the University was placed on the approved list 
of the Association of American Universities, a most significant recogni- 
tion of the institution’s worth and academic standing. 14 In expressing its 
appreciation to the officers of the University for making this accredita- 
tion possible, the Board linked with the name of President Marvin that 
of Charles Riborg Mann (1869-1942), a Trustee. Dr. Mann was a dis- 
tinguished physicist who during the First World War, particularly as 
chairman of the Citizens’ Advisory Board of the War Department, played 
an outstanding role in dealing with educational problems of the armed 
forces. In the years following the war, he, more than any other, gave form 
and direction to the American Council on Education, following up on and 
enlarging the role that had been played by educational institutions during 
the war and developing an organization that spoke with increasing author- 
ity as the voice of American education not only to the lay world but 
among the institutions themselves. As President Marvin’s principal ad- 
viser, he put his prestige and ability at the service of the University and 
made a signal contribution to its development and progress. 

Another Trustee who at this time and for the remainder of her long 
and useful life served the University in a very special way was Jessie 
Fant Evans (Mrs. Joshua Evans, Jr.), A.B. 1913, Ed.D. (hon.) 1932. 
Coming to the Board in 1923 as an alumni Trustee, then elected a charter 
Trustee and finally an honorary Trustee, she served in a notable way 
as the link between the Board and the alumni, the faculty, and the stu- 
dents. A former teacher, a member of the press, civic leader, and officer 
in many women’s organizations, her numerous contacts gave her informa- 
tion and a point of view that were of great service in the Board’s human 


The Marvin Era, 1927-1959 

relations. It was through her hands that the frequent and generous con- 
tributions of the Columbian Women were brought to the Board; and 
through her loyal dedication of time, thought, and means, she prompted 
like dedication on the part of others. 

Of the numerous transfers and changes in personnel that took place 
during the period of reorganization, none perhaps interested more people 
than the retirement of William Allen Wilbur (1864-1945) from the 
deanship of Columbian College to become provost of the University. An 
eminent Baptist layman who had written widely on the history of his 
denomination in the District, Dean Wilbur was to many the embodiment 
of the spirit of Columbian College. Coming to the University as the head 
of its Preparatory School, he became professor of English on the dis- 
continuance of the Academy and, shortly thereafter, dean of Columbian 
College. He had no great interest in research. He was interested in the 
interpretation of literature, particularly the writings of Shakespeare and 
Browning, and, in his very personal course, freshman rhetoric. Thousands 
of freshmen have never forgotten the impression made upon them as 
the slightly stooped dean, his face in repose with just a faint suggestion 
of a smile, opened the door of his office and slowly came forward on 
the platform of the old chapel, which was dimly illuminated by the soft 
light from the long stained-glass windows, walked to the lectern, and 
announced that “rhetoric was self-expression through language.” For 
years the course, even the list of topics for essays, was the same. The 
lectures found their way into print, were published first in fascicules, 
then bound into a volume which was treasured forever by those who 
probably in many cases had not read it but who looked upon it as an 
outward and visible reminder of an experience they had felt but never 
really understood. To the cynical, it was mysticism; to the believer, pure 
charisma; but they all felt it. 

Wilbur’s long tenure as dean of Columbian College (1904-1928) was 
almost equaled in length by that of Henry Grattan Doyle, who became 
dean of Columbian College six years after Wilbur’s retirement and 
served for twenty-three years (1934-1957). 

While changes were being made in existing units, new divisions and 
schools were being added to the University organization. 

In 1930, Elmer Louis Kayser was appointed to organize the Division of 
University and Extension Students, which he served as director and later 
dean for thirty-two years. The basic idea underlying the creation of 
this new unit was simple and practical: to enable the University to meet 

Bricks Without Straw 


more fully the special demands of an urban community. To make it clear, 
the new division was shortly separated into two parts: the Division of 
University Students, and the Division of Extension, for all students in 
off-campus courses. Then, excluding the extension students, all other 
students were put into two major categories: regular students, registered 
in degree-granting schools and colleges of the University, in full standing 
and active candidates for degrees; and University Students, not candidates 
for degrees from George Washington University, and registered in the 
Division of University Students. The term “special student” was no 
longer used. The Division of University Students, by definition, included 
a diverse group: mature individuals taking courses to increase vocational 
fitness or for personal enrichment; students officially registered in other 
institutions and taking courses for transfer with the approval of the 
home institution, or students taking courses to regularize their status 
before becoming candidates for degrees. In 1944, with the creation of the 
Division of Special Students under Dean W. R. West, the term “special 
student” again came into use, and students admitted within limited areas 
to regularize their status for degree candidacy were henceforth registered 
in the new division, rather than in the Division of University Students. 

The most important of the new units was the School of Government, 
founded two years before the Division of University Students. In effect 
this was a revival of an older unit, rather than the creation of a new 
one. Its object, as announced in the catalogue of March, 1928, was to 
help men and women prepare for public service. In a way this was a 
logical and practical extension of the ideas so eloquently set forth in the 
will of George Washington. He had there expressed his “ardent wish to 
see a plan devised on a liberal scale which would have a tendency to 
spread systematic ideas through all parts of this rising Empire, thereby 
to do away local attachments and State prejudices, as far as the nature 
of things would, or indeed ought to admit, from our national councils.” 
The School of Government was concerned in its earliest years with two 
courses of study — one a course in government, the other a foreign service 
course. They were undergraduate courses leading to the bachelor’s degree. 
By 1931, interest and support had so increased that the school was also 
offering a master’s degree, and six instead of the original two curricula: 
government, business administration, finance, domestic commerce, foreign 
commerce, and foreign service. The first administrative head of the school 
was Professor W. Reed West, who served as Chairman of the Executive 

The Marvin Era, 19 27- 19 5 9 299 

Committee from 1931 to 1934 and then as Assistant Dean from 1934 to 
1945, when Professor Arthur E. Burns was appointed Dean. 

The origin of the School of Government was to be found in the De- 
partment of Comparative Jurisprudence and Diplomacy, opened with 
great ceremony in 1898. This school had been planned by President 
Welling, who had looked upon it as the capstone of the educational 
structure. When, in President Whitman’s administration, the school was 
opened, its distinguished faculty seemed to insure immediate success. 
Conceived as a graduate school, it offered the graduate degree in law 
(LL.M.) and the degrees of Master of Diplomacy and Doctor of Civil 
Law. Gradually the courses in law were pulled back into the Law School. 
From the beginning, the school was harassed by lack of adequate funds 
and became a marked financial drain on the whole institution. So im- 
pressed was he by its importance that President Needham continued to 
support the school even when other branches of the University were being 
forced to retrench. In 1905 its name was changed to the Department of 
Politics and Diplomacy and courses in law were reassigned to the Law 
School. There was a further abridgment two years later when the name 
was again changed to the College of the Political Sciences, which was 
assigned to the Department of Arts and Sciences. In the reorganization 
of 1910, the school, still hampered by lack of finances and by internal dis- 
sension, was discontinued and its courses transferred to Columbian College. 
In 1928, circumstances had happily changed. 

For a number of years there had been a growing interest in the Univer- 
sity among Masonic bodies. General Washington was a towering figure in 
the history of Masonry. Luther Rice, the founder of Columbian College, 
was a Mason. Dr. Marvin was a 33rd-degree Mason. 15 

Professor D. C. Croissant of the Department of English had been a lead- 
ing figure in stimulating the practical interest of the League of Masonic 
Clubs. Becoming specifically interested in the need for a properly trained 
foreign service, the Masons were particularly aroused by the fact that 
the only institution formally offering such training through a School of 
Foreign Service was a church-related institution. Feeling that such train- 
ing should be given in a nonsectarian institution, their Education Founda- 
tion was so sanguine as to its ability to raise substantial funds for 
endowment that its official publication announced the likely opening in 
September, 1926, of a School of Foreign Service in The George Wash- 
ington University, two years before the University established its School 

26 o 

Bricks Without Straw 

of Government. 16 While the league was never able to assist the University 
in the massive way it had intended, its campaign throughout the Masonic 
clubs of the country did bring some material assistance; but, more im- 
portant, it brought the University and its sense of obligation to provide 
training for governmental service to a large and hitherto uninformed 
sector which resulted in various types of gifts from Masonic groups and 

An outstanding act of philanthropy came in the early months of the 
Marvin administration, a happy augury for the success of the new 
president. On December 28, 1927, the Board of Trustees accepted an 
indenture between the University and the Supreme Council (Mother 
Council of the World) of the Inspectors General, Knights Commanders 
of the House of the Temple of Solomon of the 33 rd degree of the 
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Southern 
Jurisdiction of the United States, whereby the University accepted a 
gift of one million dollars with the understanding that the gift would 
revert if at any time the institution ceased to be nonsectarian. The details 
of the grant were the result of many conferences between President 
Marvin and John Henry Cowles, then Sovereign Grand Commander of 
the Scottish Rite. 

This generous gift, a memorial to George Washington the Mason, 
made possible the establishment of the School of Government. It was 
“designed to perpetuate the principles of human freedom, the rights of 
man and the sovereignty of the people, as these principles are enunciated 
in the Constitution of the United States, and embodied in the system of 
State and Federal Governments composing the United States of America; 
granting to the University the fullest discretion in the choice of methods, 
courses of instruction, selection of teachers and lectures and awards of de- 
grees, certificates or diplomas as it may now possess or hereafter acquire by 
virtue of its charter and the Acts of Congress aforesaid, or by the tradi- 
tions of such institutions of learning, not inconsistent with or subversive 
of the purpose of this donation as hereinabove outlined.” 17 

The University now had a substantial fund for the support of a school 
which had already a background in the institution’s history and which 
could carry out the objectives and meet the common aim of all the 
Masonic groups by preparing students for leadership in the fields of 
foreign service and of govermental theory and administration. Graduates 
would be prepared for careers in either governmental service or a 
related business or professional field. Other important grants from 

The Marvin Era, 1927-1 9 9 9 261 

Masonic groups for the support of fellows and scholars in the School of 
Government were to follow. Two were especially significant. 

In 1954, Sovereign Grand Commander Luther Andrew Smith and 
President Marvin, with the consent and support of the Supreme Council, 
established the Scottish Rite Fellowships. These fellowships were to be 
granted to qualified students for one year of graduate study in the 
School of Government. Each carried a stipend to cover tuition and 
fees and an allowance for living expenses. In the period 1954-1968, 236 
Scottish Rite Fellows completed their courses. Many of them are stationed 
in United States embassies all over the world. 

A second highly important contribution from Masonic sources came 
in the same year with the foundation of the Wolcott Scholarships, 
sponsored by the High Twelve International and named for its founder, 
E. P. Wolcott. Wolcott Scholarships were to be granted for graduate 
study toward master’s degrees in preparation for government service at 
federal, state, or local levels. They were to carry a stipend to cover tuition 
and fees and an allowance for living expenses. In the period 1954-1968, 
52 Wolcott Scholars were graduated from the School of Government; 
most of them entered government service. In 1967, the Wolcott Founda- 
tion received a legacy of a million dollars, the income from which is to 
be used to maintain scholarships in the School of Government. 18 

The establishment of the school and the rallying to it of such massive 
Masonic and other support were a major achievement of the Marvin 
administration. Although a depression was in the offing at the time of the 
original Scottish Rite gift, the financial picture of the University was dis- 
tinctly favorable in the early Marvin years. When the depression did hit 
the country with full force, its effects were delayed and minimized in 
the District of Columbia by the stabilizing power of the government 
payroll. In the fall of 1928 an administrative reserve fund of $100,000 
was set up by the University, to be accumulated as funds became available, 
beginning with $25,441.29 saved from the operating fund during 1927- 
1928. 19 The acquisition of real estate in Square 102 was greatly expedited. 

Expansion in a different direction was indicated when James E. Pixlee 
was appointed Professor of Physical Education for Men in the spring of 
1929, forecasting the beginning of the most ambitious program of inter- 
collegiate athletics that the University had ever known. 

The creation of the Pairo Fund in 1931 raised prematurely the hopes 
of the athletically-minded that new and adequate physical facilities 
would soon be available. Richard E. Pairo (1852-1930), LL.B. 1875, left 


Bricks Without Straw 

to the University a bequest, valued at something less than a half-million 
dollars, “for the use and benefit of the athletics of the University either 
by using the principal for the purchase of a campus or the building and 
equipping of a gymnasium, or investing the principal and devoting the 
income thereof in promoting athletic sports of the University as the 
Trustees or Faculty may deem best.” 

Significant also was the appointment of Dr. Earl Baldwin McKinley, 
with his well-known interest in developing research in the medical 
sciences, as Professor of Bacteriology and Dean of the Medical School. 
An addition to the Medical School to afford fuller facilities, which cost 
over $60,000, was authorized at the time of his appointment. In 1931, 
the School of Nursing was discontinued. 20 

When Dr. McKinley died seven years later, he was succeeded as dean 
by Dr. Walter Andrew Bloedorn, who held the post until his retirement 
in 1957. The years of Dean Bloedorn’s leadership were highly significant 
in the development of the Medical School’s program, work carried for- 
ward with equal vigor by his successor, Dr. John Parks. In addition to 
the usual duties of improving instruction and encouraging research, these 
deans were faced with the problem of undertaking major physical ex- 
pansion. During its first forty years, the Medical School had many homes: 
first, for a brief period, rented quarters; then the building erected by the 
faculty on the northeast corner of Tenth and E Streets; next, the Wash- 
ington Infirmary; again rented quarters; then the old Law School building 
on Fifth Street. Immediately after the close of the War of 1861-1865, the 
Medical Department moved to the building on H Street, the gift of W. W. 
Corcoran. That site has been occupied for more than a century. No other 
branch of the University has been located in the same place for as long a 
time. The construction and improvement of the new University Hos- 
pital, the addition of the Meyer Pavilion, the building of the Warwick 
Memorial, and the acquisition and adaptation of large and usable struc- 
tures in the area immediately south of Washington Circle have been the 
approximating steps to the development of a vast Medical Center. The 
transfer of the activities carried on in the H Street buildings to new struc- 
tures in the West End will again bring together in the same area all the 
branches of the University. 

In a very personal way, as far as President Marvin was concerned, 
two relatively insignificant appropriations made toward the close of 
1929 are interesting. They were the grant to the president of $1,200 for 

The Marvin Era, 1927-1959 265 

the improvement of the University Yard and an allowance of $1,750 for 
painting the buildings a light cream. While later there were many other 
and larger expenditures for the same purposes, these served not only 
as appropriations but as authorizations, or, at least, declarations of intent. 21 

The president had a deep interest in gardens and in buildings. With 
miscellaneous structures of varied styles and sizes being used for Univer- 
sity purposes, he sought to give this bewildering diversity a measure of 
unity by painting all of the buildings (except Corcoran and Stockton) 
with a standard color of light paint. He wanted to give some interest to 
the interior area of Square 102 and the space around the buildings by 
planned landscaping. He found recreation and intense satisfaction in 
supervising these matters personally, usually early in the morning with 
Norris, his gardener, and his other groundsmen in attendance. As the 
holdings increased and the task became more complicated, a professional 
garden consultant, Mrs. Lilian Wright Smith, took over the major super- 
vision of the work. The collection of roses in the Yard is a living reminder 
of the pioneering work of both the president and Mrs. Smith in improving 
the grounds. The president’s predilection for white paint on the exterior 
and “Marvin green” on the interior remained a subject of conversation 
for years. 

By the beginning of 1933, the effects of the depression were being 
keenly felt. With the approval of the Board, the president asked the deans 
and directors to make no recommendations for filling more posts vacated 
by resignation, unless the need was most urgent. At the same time, Dr. 
Marvin presented to the Trustees these resolutions which were un- 
animously approved: 

Be it resolved, that the Board of Trustees of The George Washington 
University reaffirms its expression of appreciation of the proficient services 
of the members of the University staff during these later years and with 
special reference to the fine morale maintained during these difficult days 
of social and economic readjustments, and further 

Be it resolved, that the Board as a means of expressing its appreciation 
to the staff announces at this time that it is making no salary changes during 
the current year unless emergencies arise that are now unknown . 22 

The best evidence of the president’s ability in financial matters is 
shown by the fact that no cut in salaries was made during the entire period 
of the depression. As a matter of economic assistance to young men and 
women, unable financially to continue their education because of the 

Bricks Without Straw 


depression, the University granted additional scholarships to twenty 
recent high school graduates in the metropolitan area. 23 

The University faculty seized upon the beginning of the president’s 
eighth year as a proper occasion to review the achievements of the first 
seven years in a laudatory and appreciative resolution presented to Dr. 
Marvin and forwarded to the Board of Trustees for inclusion in its records. 
The faculty noted that, in difficult times, he had maintained the Univer- 
sity’s program without sacrifice of standards, that he had “simplified and 
coordinated” educational administration, that in the early years he had 
increased the faculty salary scale and held to it in spite of the depression, 
that he had introduced a general policy of sabbatical leave, and that he had 
scrupulously respected faculty prerogatives and tenure. In the furtherance 
of his policy, full cooperation and hearty support were pledged. 24 

The faculty’s praise was warranted. The president had improved its 
economic status and respected its privileges in the classroom and its pre- 
rogatives as teachers. He had maintained the University’s offerings and 
program. The full implication of his administrative changes the faculty did 
not see then. It appreciated the elimination of much that it considered 
archaic. It could not then appreciate the full extent of administrative 
centralization in the office of the president and its effects. If in its enumera- 
tion of Dr. Marvin’s achievements the faculty had gone specifically into 
the financial phases of his activity, it would have pointed out that in the 
period between September, 1928, and September, 1934, the University 
had acquired nineteen pieces of property, increasing its holdings 26.44 
per cent. 25 

If the first seven years had been a period of administrative and educa- 
tional reorganization, of the improvement of faculty status, and of the 
beginning of large gifts and accelerated acquisition of property, the 
period to follow was, in the eyes of the public, to be an era of unprec- 
edented building. Except for the large addition to the Medical School, 
building up to this time had been largely confined to the remodeling of 
existing structures for educational purposes, creating makeshifts which 
were usable but far from ideal. 

The new movement got under way in December, 1934. In that month 
the Board authorized the construction of a building on G Street between 
Lisner Hall (2023) and Woodhull House to be used for laboratories, 
classrooms, and offices of the Departments of Biology and Zoology; and 
administrative offices for the registrar, the dean of Columbian College, 
and the dean of the Junior College; and to provide, in addition, six class- 

The Marvin Era, 1921-1959 265 

rooms. The estimated cost was $75,000. In the same month Mrs. Henry 
Alvah Strong gave the University $200,000 “for a hall to house women.” 

The building for the Biological Sciences, Alexander Graham Bell Hall, 
was the first one to be built in Square 102 after the Harris Plan was 
abandoned. Strong Hall was the first major unit in the new dormitory 
system, a very important departure because it inaugurated the policy that 
changed the institution into a residential college within a few dec- 
ades. 26 

While Strong Hall was being completed, work advanced rapidly on 
Gilbert Stuart Hall, located on G Street immediately east of Lisner Hall, 
so that this building was occupied at the beginning of the 1936-1937 
academic year. 

Alexander Graham Bell Hall and Gilbert Stuart Hall, originally desig- 
nated unimaginatively as Buildings C and D respectively, were identical in 
appearance. They were, in a sense, depression buildings. At a time when 
many institutions were utilizing public funds of one sort or another to 
load their campuses with massive structures, President Marvin was pur- 
suing a course of rugged individualism and expanding the University by 
its own resources. These two buildings, improvised by the president, and 
to an extent followed in later construction, were designed for the utmost 
economy in their original cost and in maintenance. Built of used brick, 
later painted white, they were essentially cubes, four stories and basement, 
with hollow-tile room partitions, and exposed pipes and wiring. Walls were 
unfinished and the ceiling design was derived from the cement forms of 
the floor above. Rooms could be changed in size, practically overnight, 
by moving the hollow tiles of the walls. Exposed pipes and wiring made 
repair easy. In this highly ingenious fashion, classrooms and laboratories 
were provided at an amazingly low cost. Later refinements and furnishing 
have done much to change the Spartan character of these buildings in their 
original form. 

Strong Hall, on the southwest corner of Twenty-first and G Streets, 
was the first of the new buildings built outside the original Square 102 
(G and H Streets, Twentieth and Twenty-first Streets). Contrary to the 
Marvin design, it was a red brick Colonial structure of six stories, topped 
by a solarium. In 1938, the Hall of Government, made possible by the 
generosity of Mrs. Henry Alvah Strong, was erected on the northwest 
comer of Twenty-first and G Streets, the second of the new buildings 
to be located facing the original Square 102. The cornerstone was laid by 
the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia with full Masonic ceremony. 


Bricks Without Straw 

In general it matched in plan the earlier Marvin type of building, but it 
was constructed with outer walls of white stone instead of used brick, 
and made a dignified home for the School of Government. 

As the Hall of Government was being completed, work got under 
way on Lisner Library, located on the site of old Lisner Hall, the building 
originally occupied by the University on G Street. The library was built 
by funds given by Abram Lisner as a memorial to his wife, the late Laura 
Hartmann Lisner. Opened in the fall of 1939, it was the first building that 
the institution had ever had devoted entirely to use as a library. It was 
of the Marvin type, six stories in height. With the two matching buildings, 
one on either side, it was designed to form an impressive group occupying 
practically the entire G Street side of Square 102. 

These major structures and several smaller ones constituted the building 
activities of the 1930’s. Never before in the history of the University had 
there been such tangible evidence of the institution’s growth or of the 
energy of its president. There could be no possible doubt as to permanent 
location. Square 102 now contained an imposing group of buildings 
around an attractively landscaped University Yard. But construction had 
gone beyond the original square, and plans for other and larger structures 
were under way. The acquisition of property in the area was accelerated. 
The shape of things to come was apparent. 

As the first decade of his administration came to a close, President 
Marvin was concluding successfully what had unexpectedly turned out 
to be a piece of unfinished business. On April 14, 1909, Mrs. Susan Whit- 
ney Dimock had informed President Needham that the George Washing- 
ton Memorial Association had withdrawn from its agreement to raise a 
half -million dollars for erecting on the Van Ness site a building to be 
known as the George Washington Memorial. This structure was to belong 
to the University. It was to be used as an administration building and was 
to contain an auditorium for lectures and for international and scientific 
gatherings. As part of the arrangements, the University had taken the 
name of The George Washington University, in perpetuity. 

After the termination of its agreement with the University, the associa- 
tion had continued to raise money, but had fallen far short of its original 
objectives. With the hope that new life could be given to the project, it 
was decided to link the spirit of 1776 with World War I patriotism and 
to build a George Washington Memorial Building and Victory Memorial. 
The government assigned a site for the purpose where the National Gallery 
now stands. The building, when completed, was to be under the control 

The Marvin Era, 1927-1 9 59 267 

of the regents of the Smithsonian Institution. The cornerstone was laid 
November 14, 1921, and at the exercises an American flag to be flown 
over the building was presented in the name of the University by President 

The association was not able to proceed with the work of construction, 
and the gaunt masonry of the foundation lingered as a reminder of a 
noble object unattained until the site was desired for the projected Na- 
tional Gallery. Mrs. Dimock, who had carried the major burden of the 
project for a generation, was now advanced in years. It seemed proper at 
this time to liquidate the affairs of the association and in so doing to 
provide that the assets be used in a way consonant with the purposes of 
the George Washington Memorial Association. The National Gallery made 
noble use of the site. 

On June 17, 1936, at a special meeting called for the purpose, a con- 
stitutional number of members of the George Washington Memorial 
Association directed that steps be taken to dissolve the association and to 
transfer its property to the University. The Board of Trustees accepted 
the gift for such purposes as it might deem best, “always having in mind 
the purposes of the George Washington Memorial Association.” 27 

At the request of Mrs. Dimock, President Marvin became her successor 
as president of the George Washington Memorial Association to facilitate 
the transfer of the association’s assets, which amounted to approximately 
$220,000 and were used to complete the University Auditorium. The 
desire for an auditorium, which had been a major feature in the associa- 
tion’s project, was thus fulfilled. 28 

Mrs. Henry F. Dimock died on September 12, 1939. Her will, after 
making some small specific bequests, gave “all the rest, residue and re- 
mainder” to the University for its general purposes to perpetuate the 
memory of her daughter Susan. 

It would be qualified praise to assess the achievement of a man or an 
institution on tangible things alone. Educational progress kept pace with 
the building program. Although well aware of the shortcomings and 
limitations of the University, President Marvin from the very beginning 
had been anxious that its essential value and worth be recognized by those 
formal acknowledgments by national organizations that are the visible 
signs of acceptance by the academic community. Improved physical 
facilities, the evidence of ability to finance the educational program, the 
quality and productiveness of the faculty, the tested performance of grad- 
uates, a healthy change in the role of the part-time student — all of these 


Bricks Without Straw 

factors facilitated a sounder view of the University’s position in the 
academic world. 

In many ways, the effort to win recognition was climaxed by the 
granting of a charter to Alpha Chapter of the District of Columbia by 
Phi Beta Kappa. This chapter, formally installed on February 22, 1937, 
was the first to be established in the District of Columbia. 29 

Sigma Xi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Mortar Board, and many other honor 
societies were represented by chapters on the campus. Every branch of 
the University was accredited by the appropriate accrediting agency, 
a recognition of the energy of the president and the wholehearted co- 
operation of the faculties. 

At the same time that the financial security of the teaching staff was 
being safeguarded against salary decreases in periods of unusual economic 
difficulty, attention was being given to other faculty benefits. A system 
of sabbatical leave was instituted, and special provision was made for 
extended leave for members of the faculty with lengthy service before 
the system was put into effect. As a matter of fixed policy, effort was made 
to provide every faculty member with a suitable office. A retirement 
system was established, providing for retirement at sixty-five, or earlier 
in cases of disability, with possible annual extension of active service until 
seventy, and a pension to be fixed in each case by the Trustees. A special 
committee’s report on Faculty Privileges and Responsibilities was accepted 
by the Board of Trustees, with slight amendment, and adopted as policy. 30 

The educational organization was under constant scrutiny, and many 
changes were made. In 1927, fourteen departments were manned by part- 
time teachers exclusively. In his first two years, President Marvin reduced 
this number to four. 31 Several new departments were created, among 
them the Departments of Journalism, Slavonic Languages, Anthropology, 
Statistics, and, following the discontinuance of the Division of Architec- 
ture, of Fine Arts. The Department of Economics was divided into a 
Department of Business Organization and Administration and a Depart- 
ment of Economics. The School of Nursing was discontinued, and a 
Center of Inter-American Studies (later called the Inter-American Center) 
was established. 32 

Activity in scientific research received a new impetus. Among the 
outstanding scientists called to the University during this period were 
Vincent du Vigneaud in biochemistry (1932-1938), later to receive the 
Nobel Prize (19 55), and the physicists Edward Teller (1935-1941) and 
the late George Gamow (1934-1956). A most fruitful and rewarding ac- 

The Marvin Era, 1927-1959 269 

tivity was the organization, in cooperation with the Carnegie Institution 
of Washington, of the Washington Conference on Theoretical Physics, 
which met annually at the University before World War II, with Gamow 
and Teller playing leading roles. 

The first of the conferences held on April 19, 20, and 21, 1935, was 
attended by representatives from twenty universities and research organ- 
izations doing leading work in theoretical physics, including the National 
Bureau of Standards, the Naval Research Laboratory, the Carnegie In- 
stitution of Washington, and the following universities: Cambridge (Eng- 
land), Oxford (England), Queens (Canada), California, California Institute 
of Technology, Columbia, Cornell, George Washington, Harvard, Illinois, 
Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio State, Princeton, Purdue, and Wisconsin. 
This three-day conference, participated in by outstanding scientists in an 
informal fashion, with full opportunity for general discussion, proved so 
stimulating and so fruitful of results that arrangements were made for its 
continuation, year after year. For each conference, specific topics in the 
field were proposed in the invitation to participating physicists. At the 
sessions, the briefings to present the current state of research in the areas 
being considered were followed by general discussion that probed into 
the theoretical possibilities and the significance of this expanding field of 
knowledge. Each of the sessions was in a very real sense a working con- 
ference. 33 

While each of the conferences was of the greatest significance, the fifth 
conference, January 26, 27, and 28, 1939, is important in the history of our 
age. 34 The late George Gamow described this historic occasion very 

In January, 1939, the Annual Conference on Theoretical Physics in Wash- 
ington, D.C., organized joindy by The George Washington University 
(Edward Teller and the present reviewer at the wheel) and the Carnegie 
Institution of Washington (M. A. Tuve at the wheel) was to be honored by 
two distinguished guests: Niels Bohr, who was spending some time in the 
Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and Enrico Fermi, who a few 
years before had moved from Rome to Chicago. 

The first day of the meeting followed the original schedule and was not 
very exciting, except that I got three flat tires driving the Bohrs to dinner 
at my home by running into a beer bottle somebody had left negligently 
on the street. The next day Bohr came to the meeting somewhat late, with 
a telegram in his hands. The telegram was from Lise Meitner in Stockholm 
and informed Bohr that she had just heard from her former colleague Otto 
Hahn in Berlin that uranium, being bombarded by neutrons, shows traces 
of radioactive elements of about one-half its weight. Meitner added that 

Bricks Without Straw 


she and her nephew Otto Frisch believed that the uranium nucleus undergoes 
fission, i.e., splitting into two about equal fragments, as the result of the 
neutron impact. 

The conference went off the originally planned track. Bohr and Fermi, both 
armed with chalk, started an animated discussion near the blackboard, and 
Tuve, recognizing that this discussion might be of paramount importance for 
war purposes, politely showed out two newspapermen covering the meeting. 
This was probably the first step toward atomic security. Nevertheless the 
word “fission” leaked into the press, and the next day Robert Oppenheimer 
telephoned to me from Berkeley to find out what it was all about. 

Returning to Princeton, Bohr, in collaboration with John Wheeler, developed 
an elegant theory of nuclear fission that was published in the September 
issue of the Physical Review. This was the first and last extensive paper on 
that subject (in the U.S.A. at least) before the security curtain was tightly 
drawn around the subject . 35 

A tablet on the wall at the entrance to the room on the second floor of 
the Hall of Government where the session was held commemorates “the 
most exciting and important discussion” of the Fifth Washington Con- 
ference on Theoretical Physics. 

The handful of scientists who were aware of the possibility that uranium 
research could lead the way to the production of powerful bombs of a 
new type, knew that research was going on at an accelerated pace in 
Germany following the splitting of the atom by two German scientists 
late in 1938. If the Nazis got the bomb first they would have a powerful 
weapon that others could not match in their drive for world domination. 
Only through massive assistance from the government could America get 
the means to quicken her nuclear research. Albert Einstein’s direct ap- 
proach to President Roosevelt obtained this aid. Two outstanding Hun- 
garian-born physicists, Professors Wigner of Princeton and Szilard of 
Columbia, had been successful in enlisting Einstein’s assistance. On 
Wednesday, August 2, 1939, Professor Teller drove Professor Szilard to 
Peconic Bay on Long Island, where Einstein was vacationing, to receive 
the signed letter to Roosevelt which had been drafted three days before. 
This letter was largely instrumental in getting the first assistance from the 
government in the form of a small appropriation of $6,000, the very 
modest beginning of appropriations that eventually expanded into bil- 
lions. 36 

In the Marvin administration, student relations took on a new and more 
compelling form. The new breed of student was coming into existence, 
ready to condemn, agitate, and demonstrate, eager to adopt causes, and 


The Marvin Era, 1921-ig^g 

increasingly militant in tactics. Earlier efforts to stimulate such activity 
had not found massive support. 

An effort to arouse a voice of student dissent was made in the twenties 
by the publication of Sour Grapes and The Lash, sheets that made their 
appearance suddenly throughout the University and at nearby newstands 
and were eagerly perused. Sour Grapes burst on the scene with Volume I 
Number 1 on December 12, 1923. Its banner head read “Bold Faculty Plot 
Exposed.” It referred to an allegation, discussed at length, that a small 
group of professors had attempted to seize control of the University and 
seat a compliant dean as president. The story, totally unsubstantiated, went 
into great detail and mentioned individuals supposed to be in the plot. 
Other feature stories attacked The Hatchet and the Law School. 

The Lash, underwritten by the same student, appeared three years later. 
Its first number ran into difficulty. Said the second number, “It offended 
the esthetic sense of some of our Mid- Victorians and drew from them 
such a shower of criticism that its distribution was impossible.” The Lash 
took as its subjects for criticism all of the student politicians, the frater- 
nities, most of the student activities, the Father of His Country, and the 
educational system in general. By the time it reached its third number, it 
was moving President Lewis in range to be its major target. “Caesar has 
his Brutus, Charles Stuart his Cromwell, George the Third his Washing- 
ton, Harding his liquor, and Lewis his Lash.” 37 The fourth number an- 
nounced the reprinting of the suppressed Sour Grapes of 1923, available 
at a cost of 50 cents a copy. 

The Lash and Sour Grapes were protests. They were well written, using 
sarcasm, irony, and touches of broad humor along with vitriolic attacks. 
They invited student revolt and called for the protection of the right to 
revolt “as the most sacred of our liberties.” They found a handful of 
followers. 38 The student mind was not yet prepared for anything of this 
sort. Campus politics was practiced hot and heavy, but it was within the 
limits of student activities. The rather superior air of the radical sheets, 
skillfully poking fun at undergraduate naivete, was not conducive to stu- 
dent support. In the development of the new type of student, The Lash 
and Sour Grapes came too early. Later in the thirties they might have 
found a considerable following. The crash and the depression created a 
new age. 

Contrary to the views of many who would make the time a generation 
later, the new breed of college student, in George Washington University 
at least, was a product of the Great Depression and the New Deal. While 


Bricks Without Straw 

the University had in the earlier days of the period eagerly refrained as an 
institution from dipping into the public till, it had cooperated with the 
Federal Educational Relief Organization and other agencies like the Na- 
tional Youth Administration to obtain available aid for students needing 
assistance to complete their education. The marked intervention of govern- 
ment into so many areas, traditionally reserved for the private sector, 
created an atmosphere in which the new breed was produced. Before this, 
organs of student government, particularly student councils, had been 
primarily concerned with the encouragement, development, and control 
of student organizations. While individual students and groups of students 
might petition for the redress of what they looked upon as a grievance, 
student bodies, even their extreme wings, had shown no desire or intent 
to take over the governance either of the nation or of the University. The 
change that was going on was implied when the Committee on Student 
Activities was renamed the Committee on Student Life. 

In the preceding years when the University was struggling against 
great odds, the fraternities and sororities had played an essential role. When 
the Arts colleges, the Law School, and the Medical School were widely 
scattered in location, when a majority of the student body was employed 
and attended late-aftemoon classes exclusively, it would have been natural 
for all sense of a student community, for all consciousness of a college 
spirit, to have disappeared completely. That it did not was due in large part 
to the fraternity system. Individual chapters brought together students 
from all departments, students who were full-time and students who were 
part-time. The Interfraternity and the Pan Hellenic Associations brought 
all of the chapters together on a University basis. Fraternity houses offered 
places of meeting when the University could not. The Greek letter 
societies kept social activities alive and they developed the leadership for 
student publications and athletics. Their interests were contained within 
the University and they kept its extracurricular life alive. 

In the new age, the increasing dependence on government, as repre- 
sented by the National Youth Administration, was felt by the new type 
of student, whose interest was no longer solely contained within the 
University. This new student looked to the government — what it was 
doing, and should be doing, for him. He was interested in transforming 
the University so that it would be in harmony with what he thought the 
new order of things would be. 

This age was an age of ideologies. Students felt the urge to organize, 
line up ideologically: right, center, and left; and, by association, to show 

The Marvin Era, 1927- 1959 279 

their solidarity with student bodies in general. They betrayed a not always 
latent desire to become a new estate in the educational power structure. 
The administration, realizing the tendencies of the time, was anxious to 
afford the student body opportunity and facilities for the freest possible 
expression and discussion of any views. Yet, in 1932, when a group 
petitioned for recognition as a unit of the National Student League, the 
Board of Trustees formally denied the petition. On the other hand, in 
January, 1935, a group of students began to plan, with the fullest official 
sanction, what became the George Washington Union. Describing itself 
as “the political voice of the student body of George Washington Univer- 
sity,” it was “a representative forum of 10 1 delegates elected annually” 
from the student body, serving as “a testing laboratory for social ideas and 
a mechanism for acquiring experience in politics, parliamentary procedure, 
and group leadership.” Clearly its founders had the Oxford Union in mind. 
In its first election the Center got 55 seats, the Left 24, and the Right 22. 
When in the fall of 1935 the president of the National Student Federation, 
Thomas F. Neblett, asked the president of the University to inform him 
of his “attitude toward affiliation of your student governing board with the 
National Student Federation of America,” Dr. Marvin’s reply was very 
direct: “The George Washington University would not care to affiliate its 
student governing board at this time.” 39 

What was the University’s policy? By preventing affiliation with na- 
tional organizations and favoring local ones, the administration sought to 
insure freedom of expression with freedom from coercion and involve- 
ment with larger pressure groups. The point of view was crystallized in 
the famous Rule 6. This rule, for decades the guide line in dealing with 
student organizations, read: 

No student clubs or societies (except social fraternities, sororities, scholastic 
honor societies, religious or professional clubs or societies) organized as a 
branch or affiliate of a non-George Washington University organization will 
be recognized by the Student Life Committee . 40 

When a year later the George Washington Chapter of the American 
Student Union applied for recognition, the petition was denied by the 
Committee on Student Life on the basis of Rule 6, in spite of the protests 
of the Left party. 41 

The steady growth of fascism on the European continent, the threat of 
new war, and the increased tempo of military preparedness here, all con- 
spired to arouse in youth a sense of concern of a very personal nature and 


Bricks Without Straw 

to provoke demonstrations by groups within the colleges. Beginning 
noticeably in the middle 1930’s, there was growing evidence of antiwar 
activity among high school and college students, particularly in the setting 
aside by the United Student Peace Committee of one day each year for an 
antiwar strike. What attitude should be taken by school authorities toward 
students who absented themselves for participation in such demonstra- 
tions? The president of the Teachers Union of the City of New York, in 
a letter to President Marvin and to other educators, obviously strongly 
opposed to any disciplinary action in such cases, asked if it was necessary 
to note information concerning participation in antiwar strikes on college 
application blanks. 42 

In a lengthy and thoughtful letter, the president, laying aside motives, 
addressed himself to the means employed: 

I do not see how we can support students who, having signed up to abide 
by the laws of any university, see fit to take it into their hands, at the 
pronouncement of some outside body, to violate the integrity of the contract 
which they have signed as a member of the institution . 43 

Other inquiries received equally forthright answers. 

When, a year and a half earlier, some students in the University had 
planned a peace meeting, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Daugh- 
ters of the American Revolution, and the Military Order of the World 
War demanded that the University call the meeting off. Dr. Marvin’s 
answer was unequivocal: “No such action will be taken by the Univer- 
sity.” The University, he emphasized, was not giving official sanction to 
the views of the group. It was obeying its basic principle: to seek the 
truth. 44 

On November 8, 1935, a giant demonstration was planned by the stu- 
dent Strike Committee. The University declined to suspend classes for the 
demonstration. The Evening Star reported: “Plans for a gigantic demon- 
stration at George Washington University failed to materialize.” 45 

In 1936, Army Day, April 12, threatened to serve as the occasion for 
demonstrations both pro and con. The University in this case took the 
initiative by persuading all factions to join in a Peace Convocation on 
Monday, April 6 . Three sessions were held: a general session at 11:10 a . m . 
and two afternoon sessions at 5:45 p . m ., one in Stockton and the other in 
Corcoran Hall. All classes falling within the hours of the convocation were 
suspended. At each session two distinguished speakers were heard and a 
student panel of five carried on the discussion. All shades of opinion were 


The Marvin Era, 1921-1 999 

represented in the list of speakers and in the student panels. The Hatchet, 
speaking editorially of the convocation, said: “Its success is sung by its 
proponents and admitted by its opponents. . . . Such was the success of the 
Convocation that all shades and grades of pacifists and militarists had their 
innings during the day’s course.” 46 

The following year, 1937, the George Washington University Strike 
Committee announced in the local press that 1,200 students would leave 
their classes at 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, in a 
strike against war and fascism as part of a nation-wide protest. 47 

The national organizing group, the United Student Peace Committee, 
declared that the purpose of the strike was to dramatize the extent of 
student sentiment for peace and to signify to those who were resolved 
not to be drafted “a technique and preparation whereby to oppose mobil- 
ization.” 48 

President Marvin, on the basis of Rule 6 and because of his fear of 
counterdemonstrations and resultant disorder, would not sanction the use 
of University buildings or grounds for the purpose of the meeting. A flood 
of unsigned and inflammatory printed and mimeographed material which 
had been circulated on the campus justified Dr. Marvin’s position: “No 
demonstration or counter-demonstration on University property will be 
countenanced.” Not all believed the president’s position justified. An 
ominous-looking black-bordered sheet was distributed over the campus, 
headed: “DIED — Academic Freedom — Passed away, April 22, from a 
fatal blow struck below the belt by a reactionary administration. Never 
having enjoyed the best of health, the vicious onslaught proved too much 
for its delicate constitution.” 

While the liberal and left-of-center student groups that had sponsored 
demonstrations against war and fascism were somewhat silenced for a 
time, their resentment against the administration remained. They waited 
for a new occasion to make an even more vigorous attack. The occasion 
was offered by the Martha Gibbon case, when the same student groups 
—some of their members now spoke as alumni — with reinforcements, 
transformed their movement in support of Miss Gibbon to a broadside 
attack on President Marvin and the University establishment. 

Miss Martha Gibbon was an Assistant Professor of English. She was a 
woman of deep convictions and liberal views. Highly articulate and dy- 
namic in appeal, she was held in high regard by many students and by 
many of her colleagues. In her statement, circularized by the Student 
Committee on the Gibbon Case, she said that she was first apprehensive of 

Bricks Without Straw 


her status when her promotion from instructor to assistant professor and 
appropriate salary adjustments were long delayed. When after the normal 
period for the assistant professorship, she was not promoted to an asso- 
ciate professorship with tenure, she renewed her efforts to get some 
clarification of her status. Finally, on the recommendation of a colleague, 
she submitted her resignation on March 9, 1940. 

Her cause was immediately championed by the Student Committee; and 
under date of May 1, 1940, there appeared a pamphlet entitled “A Pre- 
liminary Survey of the Administration of Dr. Cloyd Heck Marvin at The 
George Washington University. Submitted by an Alumni Committee for 
the Investigation of Conditions at The George Washington University, 
this statement of facts is addressed to the students, alumni, faculty, and 
members of the Board of Trustees of The George Washington University, 
Vol. I, No. 1, 1940.” 

The committee noted that it was self-constituted and was in no way 
sponsored by the General Alumni Association. It began by listing several 
unfavorable comments on President Marvin’s administration at the Univer- 
sity of Arizona and then cited seventeen items, including thirteen cases 
— among them Miss Gibbon’s — involving personnel in which the presi- 
dent’s action was questioned. The matter then became one of notice in the 
press, in the form of rather full reports and “letters to the editor” pro and 
con. The student speaker in his valedictory at the Class Night Exercises 
on June 1 1 referred to the case: “Unhappy, too, is our Farewell to Martha 
Gibbon, who has resigned. Many of us in the class of 1940 feel an irrepar- 
able loss to the University in her resignation.” 49 The name of no faculty 
member appeared in any of the profuse literature as a member of the 
sponsoring groups, although there was some faculty cooperation on the 
part of a few individuals. 

In the flood of literature, there was one production not wholly without 
merit. A parody on the Gilbert and Sullivan classic, entitled The Collegiate 
Mikado, was written (anonymously) and distributed. The opening 
chorus gives a suggestion of the content: 

Here’s a how-de-do 

This will never do 

Some professors ought to perish, 

But when the teachers whom you cherish 
Must be forced out too — 

Here’s a how-de-do 
Here’s a how-de-do! 


The Marvin Era, 1921-1959 

Here’s a pretty mess — 

In three months or less 
She must leave without a hearing — 

Let the bitter tears we’re tearing, 

Witness our distress, 

Here’s a pretty mess, 

Here’s a pretty mess. 

There’s a state of things, 

There’s a state of things, 

Meritorious promotion 
Doesn’t seem to fit his notion: — 

Ph.D., he sings — 

Here’s a state of things, 

Here’s a state of things! 

The president discussed the Gibbon case with the Board of Trustees, 
laying before them her letter of resignation, which was immediately ac- 
cepted as voluntary. The Trustees next noted that a self-constituted group 
sponsoring her claim had made reference to the manner in which Dr. 
Marvin was elected in 1927. The president stated that when the office 
was tendered him he refused to accept unless a faculty committee re- 
viewed his full record at the University of Arizona and, thus fully in- 
formed, announced that they were willing to accept his leadership. On 
the invitation of the Board of Trustees, he said, the President’s Council 
elected a committee of three — Dean Borden, Dean Van Vleck, and 
Professor Croissant — the members of which, after a study of the record, 
declared that they had no objections to Dr. Marvin. After discussion the 
Board adopted a resolution expressing its complete confidence in his 
personal integrity, educational and administrative ability, and outstand- 
ing qualifications for his position. 50 

The characteristics of a new breed of students had now become quite 
fully manifest. To say what proportion of the whole student body 
belonged in this category is impossible. Undoubtedly it was a minority, 
but vocal beyond any other group, so vocal in fact that its voice came 
to be more and more considered by many as the typical student voice. 
These students, by the general color of their common convictions, 
could organize and, by their militancy, establish, as it were, a new form 
of student activity. There was still the major body of students, un- 
organized, and, by desire or inertia, going about the old activities in the 
old way. In fact, while the turn to this new militancy was occurring, the 
University was going through one of the most interesting phases of 

Bricks Without Straw 

21 8 

its athletic history. But while major athletics was to rise to its zenith and 
then fall, the militancy of the new breed did not disappear. The student 
body into which it found its way was just becoming conscious of politics, 
organized itself as a political party, struck out on the line of militancy 
against war and fascism, demanded its right to cooperate with national 
organizations and movements, injected itself into questions of faculty 
tenure, and attacked the president personally and so bitterly that the 
Trustees had to take cognizance of its charges and clear the president by a 
sweeping vote of confidence. 

While the representatives of the new breed were trying their wings 
politically, the great mass of students went their way with the interests 
and enthusiasms that were traditional with the college undergraduate. 
During the first half of the Marvin administration renewed attention was 
given to intercollegiate athletics. Following World War I there was a 
revival of football when teams coached by Bryan Morse and William 
Quigley played full schedules with schools in the general area, but without 
conspicuous success. The difficulties they had to face were colossal: 
dearth of material, meagerness of support, and lack of facilities for train- 
ing. To put teams into the field was itself an achievement. However, in 
spite of handicaps, football took fire in the five years 1924-1928. H. Wat- 
son (Maud) Crum was coach, with his famous “Iron Men,” when the team 
was virtually his whole squad. 

When President Marvin brought James E. Pixlee to the University, 
the picture changed. He was given what was, by comparison, massive 
support and well-organized publicity. From 1929 to 1937, his teams grew 
in caliber from the team in the first season which lost every game, to 
teams playing opponents of the character of Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, 
Tulsa, West Virginia, Clemson, and others. In 1936, the record was: won 
7, lost 1, tied 1. This was the period of Alphonse Emile (TufFy) Leemans, 
B.S. 1937, perhaps the greatest name in the University’s athletic history. 
After making a spectacular record at the University, he went on to win 
new laurels as a member of the New York Giants. Outstanding basketball 
teams were produced by William J. Reinhart, who began his long tenure 
as basketball coach with the team of 1935-1936, and continued until 
1966. The record in basketball has been remarkable. For a period of 
twenty-four years (1929-1943, 1946-1956) the Colonials had no losing 
season. Such an impressive showing could not fail to inspire the typical 
college student. In George Washington it was the halcyon day of athletics, 


The Marvin Era, 1921-1999 

with tens of thousands at football games, elaborate between-the-halves 
entertainment, and expertly produced cheer leading. Professional teams 
had not yet become major competitors and television was not offering its 
rich programing of athletic events that was to come in a later day. 

One area of nonathletic student activity experienced marked develop- 
ment during the Marvin administration. The Glee Club had been in 
continuous existence since its organization in 1920 by the late William 
Preston Haynes, A.B. 1921, M.D. 1924, with August King-Smith as 
director. In 1924, Robert Howe Harmon, M.D. 1929, was appointed direc- 
tor, and Grace Ruble (Mrs. R. H.) Harmon assistant director of the 
Men’s and Women’s Glee Clubs. Under the leadership of Dr. and Mrs. 
Harmon, the Glee Club became an outstanding musical organization, 
filling regular engagements in theaters in Washington and New York and 
singing as guest artists with the National Symphony Orchestra, then 
directed by Hans Kindler, Mus.D. (hon.) 1932, in annual concerts for 
nine years. Competing in the Intercollegiate Glee Club Contest in 
Carnegie Hall, New York, the Men’s Club won first place in 1930, third 
place in 1931, and second place in 1935. In the postwar period, at the 
invitation of the Air Force, the Glee Clubs made fifteen military flights, 
most of them during the holiday season, to entertain military personnel 
at distant installations, many of them in the arctic region. 

Cloyd Heck Marvin had been president of George Washington 
University for slightly more than fourteen years when the attack on 
Pearl Harbor occurred. In a way the outbreak of war ended the first 
period of his administration. It had been a time of marked and rapid 
change. The shape of things to come was clearly visible. The University 
in all its branches, administrative and educational, had been reorganized. 
The more restricted concept of a physical plant with its core in Square 
102 had been discarded. Land acquisition and planned construction 
showed the intention to expand on all four sides of the original square. 
Substantial beginnings had been made for the establishment of a dormitory 
system. In some areas of extracurricular activity, the University had won 
national attention. Every branch of the University enjoyed full ac- 
creditation, and Phi Beta Kappa and other major honor societies had 
chapters in it. 

The outbreak of World War II imposed a new series of exacting 
demands on the University. Contribution to the national defense be- 
came a major part of its mission. The student body underwent vast 

28 o 

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changes in composition and in interest. The recruiting of personnel to 
provide for increased demands and to replace staff members called 
to military service became increasingly difficult. Regular members of 
the staff who remained had to forget about normal loads and assume what- 
ever additional burdens were necessary to carry on the work. President 
Marvin himself added to his university duties civilian assignments of 
great importance, particularly in connection with the scientific activities 
of the War Department. Because of the priority of the national interest 
and the shaping of the University so as to serve that interest, normal 
development was in abeyance during the war years. After the cessation 
of hostilities, another fourteen years was left in the Marvin administra- 
tion. They were years particularly notable for physical growth. 

On Monday, December 8, 1941, the day following the attack on Pearl 
Harbor, the faculty met in solemn conclave, under President Marvin’s 
chairmanship, to hear one of its members give expression to the solemnity 
of the hour and to the sense of deep obligation resting on the University 
community for national service. The ranks of the faculty were rather 
quickly depleted as younger members entered the armed forces and 
specialists in fields related to the war effort took leave of absence for 
government service. 

The Trustees authorized the use of the University-owned building at 
2027 H Street as West End Civil Defense Headquarters and ordered the 
expenditure of as much as was necessary to protect the University 
property and its occupants. To enable students to compress as much as 
possible the time required for degrees, the work of the University was 
temporarily placed on a trimester basis. The faculties were authorized 
to encourage and develop accelerated programs wherever feasible educa- 
tionally. An alumni defense council, called the Victory Council, was 
approved, with the development and sustaining of morale among the 
alumni throughout the country as its purpose. Under the resourceful 
and energetic chairmanship of Robert Elliott Freer, A.B. 1931, an 
alumni Trustee, the Council produced and widely distributed a publica- 
tion, Confidential from Washington , during the entire period of the war. 

A significant type of war effort (which was to continue after the war) 
was initiated when the Board authorized undertaking special research on 
behalf of the National Defense Council and the Department of the Navy. 
The University offered a site to the government as part of a plan for 
increasing hospital facilities in the District of Columbia should the govern- 

The Marvin Era, i^2-]-ig^ 281 

ment desire to erect temporary quarters which the University would 
maintain. The University came back to this idea in a more substantial 
form and with fruitful results a few years later. 

Because the temporary removal of the Patent Office to Richmond inter- 
fered with the plans of many of its employees who were studying law at 
George Washington, a cooperative plan was put into effect for patent 
law being taught at the University of Richmond’s T. C. Williams School 
of Law by regular members of the George Washington faculty. 

These adjustments and arrangements, all authorized at the Trustees’ 
meeting of February 18, 1942, suggest the variety and sweep of the 
University’s wartime measures. 61 

But the great adjustments were those that had to be made in the lives 
of the students who went into the armed forces. As the war approached a 
close, President Marvin wrote that these numbered almost 7,000. Wartime 
conditions made difficult the continuance of extracurricular activities. 62 
The question of participation in intercollegiate athletics was left in the 
hands of the Committee on Extra-Curricular Activities with the instruc- 
tion that the committee use its own good judgment to the end of 
maintaining membership in the Southern Conference. 53 

While at the low point in the war period the student enrollment was 
down almost 20 per cent, what would have been a marked drop in income 
from tuition was made up by income from the University’s charges for 
carrying out an ever-increasing number of contracts for war-related 
research. The National Defense Research Committee, through the 
Office of Scientific Research, asked the University to undertake the opera- 
tion of a laboratory in Virginia and one in West Virginia. The Quarter- 
master General’s Department requested the organization of a project to 
gather information to help in procurement problems. And so it went 
through scores of projects, some small, some large, some of brief dura- 
tion, some lengthy. 54 

Writing just as the war closed, President Marvin pointed out that in 
the defense effort, “It was determined that we could carry on best 
through the maintenance and increase of our technical services. ... So 
the University under contract did extensive work on items for ordnance, 
both in the development of new weapons and in the improvement of 
old ones.” To do this required the recruiting of hundreds of skilled 
scientists, the development of extensive laboratories, and the accounting 
for millions of dollars in the execution of the work. 53 


Bricks Without Straw 

A letter to President Marvin from Dr. Vannevar Bush, Director of 
the Office of Scientific Research and Development, referred to the Uni- 
versity’s contribution to the war effort: 

This letter gives me the pleasure of expressing to you my personal and 
official appreciation and commendation to the aid the George Washington 
University has given to the war effort through the work it has performed 
under contract with this Office. The University was called upon to do work 
on a far greater scale than ever contemplated as a peacetime activity of an 
educational institution. The work on rockets and related devices was in 
itself a task of major magnitude. It required building a large organization 
not only of scientists drawn from the staff of the University, but also of 
engineers and executives drawn from the fields of industry. On a smaller 
scale, but nonetheless important, was the work done by the special group 
concerned with the problems of tropical deterioration of military equipment 
and material. The University met the challenge with full credit to itself . 56 

In addition to the numerous research projects carried out with so 
much success, an equal contribution to the national effort was made in 
the training of students in areas of special importance. In this every 
branch of the University was actively involved. A single example will 
show the magnitude of the service performed. When the contract with 
the United States Office of Education for Engineering, Science, and 
Management War Training Courses was terminated at the end of the 
war, more than 12,750 students had been trained in 387 courses under 
this one contract alone. 57 

The institution’s financial experience in the war years contrasts pleas- 
antly with the economic uncertainties so characteristic of its early history. 
In the war years President Marvin had tried to maintain the University 
on the funds that came to it through regular channels, keeping the 
returns from government contracts in a reserve fund. The institution was 
out of debt except for some small amounts due on recently purchased 
property which was self-liquidating, and the mortgage for about a third 
of a million dollars placed on the Medical property at the time of the 
Attorney General’s investigation in 1910 to insure restoration of all 
endowment funds which had been spent for operating expenses. This 
mortgage on the Medical property was paid off in 1944. With a fund 
that the University had accumulated and the proceeds of a loan to 
make up the remainder, the University paid to its endowment the sum 
of $323,430.33 and was thus able to certify to the Attorney General 
that there had been a complete restoration of the endowment. 58 

The Marvin Era, 1927-1959 283 

A significant change in the financial position of the University had 
taken place. Beginning with Admiral Stockton, every one of the presidents 
had sought consistently to establish faith in the financial soundness of 
the institution. Each year a budget was established within the limits of 
expected income and adhered to strictly. But the days when a university 
could be operated largely on a cash basis had ended. In carrying out 
expensive research projects during the war years and in making veterans’ 
payments in the postwar years, large sums had to be advanced against 
later reimbursement by the government. Credit could thus be extended on 
a substantial scale if the University itself had a substantial credit which 
would enable it to obtain the funds. The sound financial record of the 
University over a period of thirty years, its extensive holdings of property, 
and confidence in the men directing its financial policy created a wider 
basis for an expanding credit. President Marvin and the University’s prin- 
cipal financial officer, Henry W. Herzog, had demonstrated great 
ability. Robert V. Fleming (1890-1967) was a tower of strength. A 
charter Trustee from 1930 to 19 66 and an Honorary Trustee from 1966 to 
the time of his death, he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees 
for twenty-two years, the longest consecutive period of service in that 
office in the history of the institution. His great personal prestige and 
that of the influential financial institution which he headed, coupled with 
a total dedication to the University and its advancement, made him an 
outstanding figure in the history of George Washington University. 

During the war period attention had been repeatedly drawn to the 
inadequacy of hospital facilities in the District of Columbia. A report on 
the hospital situation in the area was drawn up and sent to the Federal 
Works Administration. The need was obvious and it was apparent that a 
start should be made with the teaching hospitals. Howard University 
had a special relation to the government and could normally ask for aid 
for Freedmen’s Hospital. George Washington and Georgetown had 
no such relationship and seemed to merit special attention. 59 

Inasmuch as a new hospital when built would involve problems of 
location in relation to a general plan of University development, such 
a plan was drawn up, approved February 10, 1944, presented to the 
Park and Planning Commission, and endorsed by them on April 20. It 
was decided to locate the projected hospital in Square 54, between 
Twenty-second and Twenty-third Streets, Eye Street and Pennsylvania 
Avenue. A hospital that provided five to six hundred beds was looked 
upon as the ideal size. 

284 Bricks Without Straw 

After preliminary consultation a formal application for federal as- 
sistance was made to the Federal Works Agency on May 2. The existing 
Medical School and Hospital property on H Street was to be deeded to 
the government in return for a 500-bed hospital in Square 54. As part 
of the planning, the possibility was discussed of removing the encumbrance 
on the H Street property by an appeal to the Attorney General. This 
possibility materialized and, as described above, the encumbrance was 

The University’s application for federal assistance was approved by 
the Federal Works Agency and the President of the United States on 
September 8. Once made, the application received approval in record 
time. A lease agreement was drawn between the University and the 
agency effective for five years from the time the hospital was completed. 
This lease was modified five years later so that the Medical property on 
H Street, which was to be turned over to the government in return for 
the new hospital, could be retained by the University by the payment of 
$548,167.50, the estimated value of the property on H Street, credit 
being given toward this amount for the payments made previously under 
the lease agreement. In this way the University was able to retain owner- 
ship of the Medical and Hospital property and also to receive a quitclaim 
for Square 54 and all of its improvements. 60 

The University now had a magnificent hospital building on Washing- 
ton Circle, thanks to the government’s assistance, but the large sum 
needed for its equipment had to be raised from private sources. To under- 
take this important assignment and to deal with the manifold problems 
arising from the development of a great University plant within the 
capital city, Major General U. S. Grant, U.S.A., recently retired from 
active service, was chosen and was elected Vice President of the Univer- 
sity. The choice was ideal. As a Trustee, General Grant knew the 
problems of the University; and as one long involved in public works 
and the planning of the city, he was peculiarly fitted for the post. 61 

To establish the University’s eligibility for further assistance, the 
Trustees adopted a resolution citing the shortage of educational facilities 
for training under the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, thus permitting 
application to the government to provide facilities such as were needed 
to assure carrying out the government’s purpose. 62 

While the hospital was being constructed, work was going on at the 
corner of Twenty-first and H Streets, which had finally been selected 
as the site for Lisner Auditorium. This building was made possible by 

The Marvin Era, ig2-j-iggg 285 

the bequest of the late Abram Lisner, for many years a Trustee and a 
generous donor to the University, supplemented by other funds, par- 
ticularly those from the George Washington Memorial Association and 
Mrs. Dimock’s bequest. When it opened in the fall of 1946, Lisner 
Auditorium was immediately recognized as a distinct asset to the cultural 
life of the city and the University. The house was opened by a two-week 
engagement of Joan of Lorraine, with Ingrid Bergman in the leading 
role, and by a class in European Civilization which filled the auditorium 
three times a week — one of the evidences of the “veterans’ bulge.” 
Opera, symphony, ballet, drama, concerts by world-famous artists, lec- 
tures — all these have found dignified and efficient setting in Lisner 
Auditorium. It has been the scene of all large student and faculty meet- 
ings, of University convocations, and of student dramatic and musical 
productions. A battery of sound-proof rooms in Lisner houses much of 
the work of the Department of Speech, and the Dimock Gallery just 
off the large lower lounge has been devoted to the University’s art 
exhibits. 63 

Five years after the completion of Lisner Auditorium, the next major 
structure was built. James Monroe Hall, on G Street, west of the Hall 
of Government, is a four-story classroom and office building. 

There remained just one piece of major construction during the 
Marvin administration, though there was constant activity in assembling 
real estate, purchasing and remodeling large apartment houses as dormi- 
tories, building smaller structures, and adapting houses for office use. 
Although originally a combination of the Columbia Hotel and the Bender 
Building, the Student Union involved so much readaptation and new 
construction as to be practically a new building. 

The last major building, though, was Tompkins Hall of Engineering, 
the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Tompkins. Mr. Tompkins was for 
many years a Trustee of the University. Tompkins Hall houses the 
School of Engineering. An interesting feature of this building is “A 
Vault for the Future,” to be opened in the year 2056. This underground 
vault, just below the main entrance, contains documents illustrative of 
the story of engineering in 1956, “and engineering hopes for the tomor- 
rows as written in the records” of the University, the Board of Com- 
missioners of the District, the National Academy of Sciences, the United 
States Atomic Energy Commission, the three branches of the armed forces, 
the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, local scientific groups, 
and Faulkner, Kingsbury, and Stenhouse, the architects, and the Charles 


Bricks Without Straw 

H. Tompkins Company, builders of Tompkins Hall of Engineering. On 
June 20, 1956, the vault was dedicated to Charles H. Tompkins, in recog- 
nition of his contributions as an engineer to the University, the city, and 
the nation. 64 

The rapid development of the University’s physical plant and the 
increased tempo of construction of government buildings in the West 
End had for some time made evident the need for an overall plan for 
the University and the definite location of its area, in terms of specific 
metes and bounds, in relation to the total development of the capital 
city. Both President Marvin and Vice President Grant had long had 
these matters under consideration; furthermore, they had the assistance 
of outstanding consultants in the formulation of their plans. 

Late in 1948 General Grant was able to lay before the Board a com- 
prehensive report concerning the development of the campus. This 
plan, made with the assistance of Frederick Law Olmsted, had received 
favorable consideration by the National Park and Planning Commission. 
The Congress had recently created the Redevelopment Land Agency 
which had aided colleges in various parts of the country in their develop- 
ment of sites. 

In 1955 the question of the definite location of the campus came up in 
a basic way in connection with the George Washington University 
Urban Renewal Project. In the summer of that year, Henry W. Herzog, 
the Treasurer of the University, had entered into conversations with the 
District of Columbia Land Development Agency to see whether that 
agency and the University could cooperate in the furtherance of the 
University’s plan. That agency and the National Capital Planning Com- 
mission approved a George Washington University Renewal Project for 
the area bounded by Nineteenth Street, Twenty-third Street, Pennsyl- 
vania Avenue, E Street, and Virginia and New York Avenues. This was 
later changed to F, Nineteenth and Twenty-fourth Streets and Penn- 
sylvania Avenue. It was next necessary to overcome some opposition in 
order to get the approval of the Commissioners of the District of 
Columbia. The setup, with the approval of the commission, would 
involve, on the part of the agency, financing, advice, general planning, and 
cost-estimating operations and also paying the cost of condemnation, 
assembly, and site development. On its side the University would pay 
for the preparation of the campus plan and would purchase the properties 
from the agency. Late in 1956 the treasurer was authorized to make 
preli min ary application, under the College Housing Program of the 

The Marvin Era, 1927-1 999 287 

Housing and Home Finance Corporation, for $1,250,000 for the acqui- 
sition and remodeling of existing apartment houses to serve as dormitories, 
one for men and one for women, this sum to be amortized over a 40-year 
period at 2% per cent interest. 

New bases were thus being found for making possible the rapid 
development of the University’s plant. A far different future opened 
up than would ever have been possible with the slow and piecemeal 
purchases of land and the hesitant ventures on new construction which 
had been the rule in the old days when modest operating surpluses had 
to finance expansion. 65 

During the same period, the number and size of gifts from foundations, 
corporations, and individuals increased notably, and permitted the Univer- 
sity to accompany physical expansion with educational advance. By 
increases across the board, an effort was made to revise the levels of 
compensation for the staff. An important beginning to what was to 
become a comprehensive system of fringe benefits was made when, by 
signing a contract with the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, 
members of the faculty were assured a substantial income on retirement. 
The University added to the 5 per cent paid by the faculty members 
a contribution first of 5 per cent, then 8 per cent, and finally 10 per cent. 66 

An important new source of income to the University was opened up 
in 1953 when the president of the General Alumni Association, Elmer 
Louis Kayser, initiated the plan of annual alumni-giving which produced 
a constantly increasing fund yearly for general and specific purposes of 
the institution. 67 

At the termination of hostilities, the student body increased rapidly 
in size. At the beginning of the year 1947-1948, President Marvin an- 
nounced that twice as many students were enrolled as in 1945. Of this 
student body of 12,000, 7,000 were veterans. 68 The return of the students 
meant the resumption of student activities after the enforced slowdown 
of the war period. There were more students living at the University than 
ever before. To supplement the permanent dormitory facilities, the Uni- 
versity made available 200 housing units for single students and 60 
units for married men. The University agreed to maintain these facilities 
for five years, the government contracting to pay the institution $165,000 
for their installation. 

The president was prepared to resume the athletic program without 
delay. C. M. Farrington, who had served as Director of Athletics before 
leaving for war service, was made Director of Activities for Men, begin- 

2 88 Bricks Without Straw 

ning February i, 1946. The resumption of intercollegiate competition 
was authorized but restricted to the Southern Conference. Because of a 
late start and limited facilities, difficulty was experienced in organizing 
a football team for 1946. President Marvin reported guardedly to the 
Trustees that “special consideration might have to be given to the 
scholastic status of a few of the prospective candidates for the football 
team.” With all its difficulties, the 1946 team, coached by Neil Stahley, 
had a fair season of 4 games won and 3 lost. Arthur Zahn produced a 
great basketball team in 1947 that won 21 games and lost 7. Athletics 
had returned, not only in intercollegiate competition, but also in an 
expanded intramural program. 69 

The intramural program was initiated by directors elected each year 
by the Student Council and working under the sponsorship of the 
physical education and athletics department. By 1941, the program had 
expanded so rapidly that it was placed under the immediate direction of a 
member of the physical education department, with Professor Joseph H. 
Krupa as the first faculty director. With time out for the war years, 
Professor Krupa served until 1953 when he was succeeded by Professor 
V. J. DeAngelis, who had been the student council director of the pro- 
gram in 1938-1939, and then, as faculty director, developed the program 
from 1953 to 1966. 

An equally comprehensive system of intramural sports for women was 
developed by Miss Ruth Atwell, who came to the University in 1929 
and served for thirty-one years in the Department of Physical Education 
for Women. Under her guidance, and working through the Women’s 
Athletic Association and its Intramural Board, emphasis was shifted 
“from the program of varsity competition to the broader and more 
inclusive program of inter-class and intramural competition.” So that 
every undergraduate woman could meet her need for some physical 
activity as well as some recreational hobbies, a varied program was 
evolved, including the organization of a number of recreational sports 

Another area of student life received attention. When Alexander 
Graham Bell Hall, then unceremoniously called Building C, was opened, 
the University established the Student Club in the basement of that 
building under a student manager, V. J. DeAngelis, who continued in 
that position after graduation from 1936 to 1942. The quarters were 
gradually expanded until the Student Club took in the entire basement 
level, serving drinks, hot and cold, sandwiches, hamburgers, and hot dogs, 

The Marvin Era, 1921-1 999 289 

and carrying student supplies and a few books. As the only available place 
of the sort, it was a scene of teeming activity from morning to night 
during the war years. The development of the dormitory system required 
adequate provision for the central feeding of students and the provision 
of large areas for study and for recreation. This need was met by the 
purchase of the Columbia Hotel and the adjoining Bender Building 
which were connected and enlarged and completely remodeled to create 
the Student Union; it was opened in 1949. This structure provided com- 
plete facilities for food service, for study and recreation, and for offices 
for student activities. Immediately back of it on Mr. Joe Lane (named 
for Joseph Toomey, who had superintended construction of all the build- 
ings of the Marvin period and had become a highly beloved campus 
figure) was the Student Store, with textbooks, supplies, and items of 
student demand. 70 

The war and postwar years witnessed many changes in the educational 
structure of the University. In 1942, the Extension Division was re- 
organized to bring under unified control the increasing number of off- 
campus courses that were constantly being organized to extend the 
University’s educational facilities to special groups, in many cases located 
outside the city. In 1950, under the direction of Dean Mitchell Dreese, 
the Extension Division was given a larger mission and its name was 
changed to the College of General Studies. This new unit expanded on 
a very wide base. In theory it was absolutely distinct from the regular 
schools and colleges and yet its courses were all subject to approval as 
to instructor and content by the appropriate departments in the various 
schools and colleges. It offered credit and noncredit courses, had its own 
schedule of fees, and at first nominated, through the president, candidates 
to the Board of Trustees to receive its degrees. While its students could, 
under some circumstances, take on-campus courses, its work was given 
in special centers, many outside the city, and many of them taught by 
University-approved instructors who were not members of the regular 
faculty. It represented an effort to extend the educational outreach of 
the University. Its early growth was phenomenal. 71 Since 1968, all 
degrees received by students registered in the College of General Studies 
have been conferred on recommendation of a regular degree-granting 
college upon fulfillment of requirements prescribed by that college. 

In the fall of 1949, planning began on the formation of a Patent Law 
Foundation. In the next year the Trustees approved a Declaration of 
Trust establishing a Patent Research and Educational Foundation in the 


Bricks Without Straw 

University, thus extending a field of legal activity in which the Law 
School had long played a distinguished role. The name of the foundation 
was changed in 1952 to the Patent, Trademark, and Copyright Founda- 
tion. 72 

The decision of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 
to move the activities of its Washington headquarters to New York 
City made available the very comprehensive library on international law 
and related subjects which it had maintained in Washington. This library 
was widely used not only by students but also by representatives of the 
State Department and other governmental agencies. The University 
purchased this library, which became a part of the institution’s col- 
lection. 73 

In the summer of 1954, arrangements were made for a merger with 
National University. Over the years since 1 869 this institution had offered 
professional and collegiate instruction in many fields, but particularly 
in law, where it had produced many distinguished members of the 
local bench and bar. At this time its efforts were centered entirely 
on legal education. The merger was agreed upon and effected under 
conditions that protected the interests of both institutions and provided 
that law students then at National could continue work for the degree 
sought. 74 

Early in 1951, the president reported to the Board that, noting the 
trends in enrollment, the University had, some months before, begun 
to undertake research for the government and had made available the 
necessary room in the University buildings. 75 The wisdom of this policy 
was soon apparent. In the difficult year 1951- 1952, the University had 
an excess of more than $200,000 over expenses. Overhead on the research 
contracts, student fees, and endowment income were supporting the 
University’s academic budget. 76 

The Office of the Coordinator of Scientific Activities had been estab- 
lished at the beginning of the fiscal year 1946-1947, just as the tidal 
wave of veteran students was approaching its height. Of the many projects 
of government-sponsored research, two of the older and major ones 
illustrate the magnitude and importance of the work carried on. The 
oldest of the projects, not an integral part of the departments of the 
University, was the Logistics Research Project, operated under a contract 
with the Department of the Navy. Its purpose was “to study problems of 
logistics planning and control in order to develop methodology permitting 

The Marvin Era, 1921-1 9 99 291 

effective solutions.” Its large-scale data-processing facility was based 
upon IBM 7080 and 360 computers. 

The Human Resources Research Office (HumRRO) was originally 
established in 1951 to carry out an integrated program of human resources 
research for the Department of the Army. This project began doing 
work in training, motivation, morale, and leadership for the Army. At a 
later date its research was made available to other departments of the 
federal government, to state and local governments, and to organizations 
supporting training and educational research. Divisions of the office were 
located in Alexandria, Virginia; Fort Bliss, Texas; and Fort Rucker, 
Alabama. General James M. Gavin called HumRRO “the most outstand- 
ingly competent military training research institution in existence today.” 
HumRRO was separated from the University in 1969. 77 

In 1952, Dr. Marvin completed a quarter of a century of service as 
president of the University. In length, his administration had already 
exceeded that of President Welling by two years. No one else had ever 
served so long. In responding to the congratulations of the Trustees on 
his achievements, he said, “An early reorganization of the Board, of 
administrative practice, of the fiscal structure, and of our academic 
procedure was the means by which these competent results were 
achieved.” He pointed out, with justifiable pride, that salaries had been 
increased each year and that there had been no decrease or drops during 
the Depression. A comprehensive retirement plan had been adopted 
and all of the staff had been brought into the Social Security Program. 
Eighteen major buildings had been added and land holdings had increased 
426 per cent in area, from 3.8 acres to 19.8 acres. A new type of 
functional architecture had been developed. There had never been 
an operating deficit, and $5.5 million had been saved from receipts. With 
reference to things tangible and financial, it was a brilliant record. 78 

At the close of the same year, Dr. Marvin added another item of 
accomplishment. At the end of the fiscal year 1926-1927, when his admin- 
istration began, he pointed out that the University had accumulated 
$804,160 in endowments over 106 years. At the end of the year 1950-1951, 
the University’s endowment had increased to $3,054,33 1. 79 

At various times the question of the admission of Negroes to the 
University had arisen. There was no regulation setting forth color or 
race as a criterion for admission. Negroes had been admitted to the Law 
School for a time after the War of 1861-1865, but the separate education 


Bricks Without Straw 

of the races had become an established but unwritten practice. On the 
surface this seemed logical in a city where there were two parallel public 
school systems. The proximity of Howard University, with the education 
of Negro youth as a special but not exclusive mission and with sub- 
stantial federal support, seemed to justify a dual college situation, analo- 
gous to the one existing in the public schools. The availability of certain 
types of graduate education at George Washington which were not 
provided at Howard seemed to justify the admission of Negroes who 
sought this graduate training. Admission of Negroes to all branches of the 
University and as residents in the dormitories soon followed in a transi- 
tion that was entirely free of all friction. 80 

President Marvin was not as interested in high ceremonial as some of 
his predecessors had been. His natural preference was for the more in- 
formal and personal occasion. Yet, in spite of his democratic leanings, 
there were several notable convocations during his administration. Honor- 
ary degrees were conferred on many foreign heads of state: the kings 
of Morocco and of Siam, the presidents of Ecuador, Uruguay, Mexico, 
and Korea — the last, Syngman Rhee, was a graduate of the University. 
In a precedent-breaking ceremony both President and Mrs. Calvin 
Coolidge received the honorary doctorate on the same occasion. President 
Truman received the honorary doctorate and his daughter her A.B. at 
the same convocation. Among statesmen, Ramsay MacDonald, the British 
Prime Minister, and Cordell Hull, the Secretary of State, were honored. 
The granting of charters by Sigma Xi and Phi Beta Kappa, and the 
George Washington Bicentennial, were each the occasion for a convoca- 
tion. When the honorary doctorate in music was conferred upon Hans 
Kindler, in lieu of a convocation address the National Symphony Orches- 
tra played Haydn’s Symphony in D Major (No. 104). Several convoca- 
tions presented artists for programs of music, instead of convocation 
orators for speeches. Among these convocation artists were Gladys 
Swarthout, mezzo-soprano; John Charles Thomas, baritone; Efrem Zim- 
balist, violinist; Rose Bampton, soprano; and Bidu Sayao, soprano. A 
few weeks after his retirement, President Marvin received the degree 
of Doctor honoris causa of The George Washington University at the 
Winter Convocation of 1959. 

As of May 15, 1952, President Marvin made effective a final piece 
of reorganization. His centralization of administration had been amazingly 
complete and, thanks to it, he had been able practically to remake the 
University with the loyal support of his Board of Trustees. But as his 

The Marvin Era, 192^-1939 293 

long administration progressed, the office of president had taken on a 
new aspect. The problems of war and depression, the new type of institu- 
tional financing, the growth of the University itself, greater activity in 
fund raising, the complexities of rapid land acquisition, and the new 
need for constant contact with government agencies and foundations — 
all of these together made an impossible load for one man, gifted and 
vigorous though he was, to carry. It is true that he was aided by a 
highly loyal, efficient, and intelligent administrative secretary of the 
University. Without Miss Myrna Sedgwick’s firm grasp of details, his 
efforts would have been in vain. Something had to be left undone. The 
president’s relation to the schools and colleges was tending to become 
purely fiscal. Committees like the one on educational policy rarely met. 
The opening faculty meetings became purely formal. The deans admin- 
istered their units largely according to their own lights, with the budget 
as their guide. Centralization had broken down through the utter im- 
possibility for one man to carry on his shoulders the whole burden of 
central administration. The president seemed to realize this when he pro- 
posed the creation of a new administrative level immediately under the 
president. O. S. Colclough, Dean of the Law School, was appointed 
Dean of Faculties and charged with the conduct and planning of academic 
units, the library, and other activities assigned to him. He was to serve 
as acting president in the absence of the president. Henry W. Herzog, the 
comptroller, was made comptroller and treasurer, his duties to include 
those normally carried by the business manager. 81 

In the fall of 1954, after a prolonged and systematic self-appraisal set 
forth in great detail in a series of volumes, the University was inspected 
by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the Middle 
States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. As a result of its 
findings, this accrediting body extended full approval to the University. 
In the preliminary report of the Commission made in 1955, there is an 
interesting reference to the position of the president, courteous and 
laudatory but perceptive: 

President Marvin was elected as the 12th President in 1927, at a time when 
there seemed to be great need of rather thorough reorganization, and his 
vigorous leadership during more than a quarter of a century is manifest in 
many points indeed. While there is ample evidence that the President himself 
desires and has inaugurated and strengthened what might well be termed 
democracy in administration through the participation of all in the making 
and carrying out of plans involving faculty appointments, curriculum studies, 


Bricks Without Straw 

intra-university relationships, and similar significant areas of administration, 
it is still clearly evident that the President is the nerve center of the Univer- 
sity; and that he looms so large in the pattern and practice of administration 
that he casts a long shadow indeed. The Committee would not wish the 
inference to be drawn that there is any element other than strength in such 
a relationship as exists; but it is clear that upon the Board of Trustees — at 
such time as it becomes necessary to find a worthy successor — there will 
rest a very significant and none too easily discharged responsibility. That the 
members of the various faculties at the present time have confidence in, and 
give loyal support to, the leadership of the President is unmistakable . 82 

President Marvin had been discussing his retirement for some time. 
In fact, in May, 1957, on the occasion of his reelection, the Trustees had 
fixed his retirement pay. In the spring of the following year, he expressed 
his conviction that the time had come for a change in leadership and 
suggested that the Board seek his successor. Toward the close of the year, 
he asked that his resignation be accepted at the end of the first semester, 
January 27, 1959. Acceding to his wish, the Board accepted his resignation 
and appointed Dean Colclough acting president ad interim. The longest 
administration in the University’s history had come to an end. 

Dr. Marvin died on April 28, 1969, and was buried in the University 
lot at Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown. 

Cloyd Heck Marvin will always have a large place in the history of 
George Washington University, but not solely on account of his lengthy 
tenure of office. He had a longer time to build than any of his prede- 
cessors, but by the same token he could have had a longer time to make 
mistakes. The University really knew three Marvins: a young man, a 
middle-aged man, and an older man. 

He came to the University directly from a challenging experience 
at the University of Arizona, where he had had to deal with a state 
legislature that was not always friendly. He was young in years, but no 
novice in university administration. He knew what to do to achieve 
the results he sought, and he went after them. Nothing less than a com- 
plete reformation of the University, he felt, was necessary; and to 
accomplish that with relative ease, he centralized the administration so 
that he possessed power greater than that enjoyed by any previous pres- 
ident. He was the sole channel of approach, for all practical purposes, 
to the Board of Trustees; and in accordance with the bylaws he was 
Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board. He had full coopera- 
tion from a working Board of Trustees. Men like Robert V. Fleming, the 

The Marvin Era, 1921-1959 295 

chairman of the Board; C. C. Glover, Jr., and Henry Parsons Erwin 
of the Finance Committee; Alfred Henry Lawson of the Building and 
Lands Committee; Harry C. Davis, the secretary of the Board, and others 
took vast segments of their time and ability away from other commit- 
ments to give constant and detailed attention to University business. 

The youthful Marvin went about the task of reorganization with 
relish, vigor, and high determination and never hesitated until he had 
the new relationships of the University formulated and codified. In 
matters financial in those years he was exceedingly frugal, husbanding 
the modest surplus from operating expenses each year, holding to con- 
servative faculty salaries, and buying land as rapidly as the meager sur- 
pluses would permit. As greater prosperity developed, he gave attention 
to faculty salaries and benefits. He then spent more because he had more 
to spend, but even to the end the old frugality had a way of reappearing. 
When after prolonged negotiation the price of the highly desirable 
property to the west owned by the Washington Gas Light Company was 
brought down to a realistic figure, the president resolutely refused to 
recommend purchase, because he thought the carrying charges would 
be too heavy. When federal funds first became available to colleges for 
plant expansion, he still held to a ruggedly individualistic policy, in spite 
of its retarding the improvement of facilities. Dr. Marvin showed 
great wisdom in his insistence on the growth of a full-time teaching 
staff and the purging of the program of course offerings by eliminating 
duplication and irrelevant or inadequately staffed courses. He was re- 
sourceful in finding new and helpful friends for the University, and in 
his early building program he evolved a type of construction agreeable 
to the limited means of the institution and the frugal ideas of its head. 
He rode though a depression without being diverted from his course or 
penalizing his staff by salary cuts. The achievements of the young Marvin 
were truly amazing. 

The middle-aged Marvin had to cope with a world war and its after- 
math. Already burdened with the mountain of detail imposed upon him 
by the high centralization of the administration, he had now to assume 
added problems in providing for war and defense needs and then for the 
education of the vast group of returned veterans. To it all he added 
large personal responsibilities as a citizen in the war and postwar efforts. 
Land acquisition quickened and there was new activity in planning build- 
ings. Active partnership with the government had now become natural 
in research and the financing of plant expansion. As a period of great 

Bricks Without Straw 


growth got under way and as student registration moved to a new and 
higher plateau, the president’s attention was being drawn away more 
and more from the problems of instruction by the pressure of more 
tangible things. 

The older Marvin had become a builder, a planner, a dreamer. He 
had passed from buildings of used bricks to buildings with white stone 
facing. With an Augustan sweep he was projecting a great University 
City in the heart of official Washington, a very tangible monument 
to the educational aspirations of the man for whom the University was 
named. The deans with their faculties were now running the schools and 
colleges as autonomous units. The student body was growing in numbers 
and in curiosity. The president prepared the budget and dreamed the 
dreams of a monumental university whose foundations he had laid. 

What had he done in almost a third of a century? He had broken loose 
from the limited concept of a university occupying a restricted area 
and had laid out the metes and bounds of a great and expanded university. 
He had pointed out and demonstrated the way by which the development 
could be financed. He had laid a basis for the maintenance of a staff that 
could worthily people such an institution. There was much that was 
tangible to show; but that subtler thing, the integration of all levels of 
the University into a functioning democratic academic community, had 
as yet been barely explored. 


Since 1959 

S ix years elapsed between the retirement of the twelfth president 
and the inauguration of the fourteenth. An acting president was in 
charge from 1959 to 1961 and again from 1964 to 1965. In the intervening 
years Thomas Henry Carroll served a brief term ended sadly by his 
death. Upon the shoulders of the chairman of the Board of Trustees, 
Newell Windom Ellison, fell the burden of selecting, with the advice 
of Trustees’ and faculty committees, two heads of the University within 
a half dozen years. 

Newell Windom Ellison, A.B. 1917, LL.B. 1921, LL.D. (hon.) 1957, 
had succeeded Robert V. Fleming as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. 
A distinguished member of the District bar, he had previously served 
for many years as a Trustee and as Secretary of the Board. As compared 
with that of his immediate predecessor, his own term of office was 
comparatively brief but unusually demanding. 

The acting president before and after President Carroll’s term was 
Oswald Symister Colclough, a graduate of the Naval Academy and of 
the Law School in the class of 1935. A former Judge Advocate General 
of the Navy, he retired with the rank of Vice-Admiral, U.S.N., and 
shortly after retirement joined the faculty of the Law School as dean 
and professor of law; he then became dean of faculties and, on the 
retirement of President Marvin, acting president. 

In large degree, Admiral Colclough’s efforts were directed to bringing 
to completion matters which had been initiated during the Marvin 
administration. In these efforts he was highly successful. The University 


Bricks Without Straw 


had long felt the need to have the approval of the Commissioners of the 
District of Columbia of its plan for the expansion of the campus. Such 
approval was a necessary factor in securing the full cooperation of the 
federal government in granting funds. On July 19, 1959, after a long 
period of negotiation, Robert E. McLaughlin, Chairman of the Board 
of Commissioners, wrote to the University on behalf of the Board to 
“record the desire to be of whatever assistance we can in accomplishing 
this purpose [expansion of campus] consistent with our responsibilities 
to the community and our authority under law.” 1 

A comprehensive plan for the organization and development of a 
Medical Center which had been a matter of lengthy and systematic 
research and consultation by a joint committee was presented and 
adopted. 2 Another important report was the University Faculty Organ- 
ization Plan, adopted by the University faculty after long debate in 
May, i960. 3 

This faculty organization report is often called the Tupper Report, 
after Professor Fred S. Tupper, who was chairman of the Academic 
Advisory Committee of Eighteen. Unlike the setup providing for a 
President’s Council in the ordinances adopted in the 1910 reorganization 
and the provisions of the Fey Committee Report, carefully formulated 
but never presented for adoption by President Marvin, the plan provided 
for the establishment of two bodies: (1) the University Faculty Assem- 
bly, consisting of academic personnel in full-time service and certain 
administrative personnel; and (2) the University Senate, “a representative 
body acting for the University Faculty as a whole in legislative and 
advisory capacities.” This area of competence was limited “to matters 
which are of concern to more than one college, school, or division, or to 
the University Faculty,” as was the case with the earlier President’s 
Council. This earlier council had consisted of administrative officers, 
deans, and elected members, each with the right to vote. In the new 
University Senate administrative officers and deans were members ex 
officiis, but they did not have the right to vote. The Tupper Plan, 
hence, was distinctly faculty-oriented. 4 Upon adoption by the Board, 
the plan was put into operation during the year 1960-1961. 

On the basis of the findings of a select committee headed by Eugene 
M. Zuckert, later Secretary of the Air Force, a report of the faculty 
of the School of Government was adopted, changing the name of the 
school to the School of Government, Business, and International Affairs. 
Two sets of programs were offered, each under the supervision of an 


Since igw 

associate dean: programs in public and international affairs, and programs 
in business and public administration, with appropriate bachelor’s and 
master’s degrees. The changes reflected the lines of development taken 
by the School of Government in the first thirty years of its existence. 

A final item of codification was the Articles of Association and the 
bylaws of the General Alumni Association, approved by the Board and 
put into effect immediately. By this action, any matriculated student 
who had left the University in good standing and any member of the 
staff or Board of Trustees was made eligible for membership in the 
Alumni Association. 5 

Some other changes were made in the schools and colleges. Although 
the plan had been authorized in 1951, Acting President Colclough was 
able to announce that the National Law Center had been established and 
Dr. Charles B. Nutting appointed Dean of the Center and Professor of 
Law. The Center included the Law School, the Graduate School of 
Public Law, and related educational, research, and publication activities. 6 
Dean Nutting was succeeded in 1961 by Dean Robert Kramer as head of 
the National Law Center. The degree of Juris Doctor was discontinued 
as a first degree in law, 7 but its use was resumed a few years later. 

The Junior College was discontinued, its work being assigned to 
Columbian College and the Associate in Arts degree made optional. 8 
Calvin Darlington Linton continued as dean of Columbian College, but 
George Martin Koehl, who had been dean of the Junior College, became 
associate dean of Columbian College in charge of students in the lower 

Particularly distressing was the case of a young scholar who was 
appointed an associate professor for a contractual period of two years, 
beginning September 1, 1959. Information was received that he was 
subpoenaed by the Committee on Un-American Activities of the House 
of Representatives and that at a hearing he pleaded the Fifth Amendment 
to all questions as to association with Communist activities. His depart- 
ment reconsidered and then withdrew its recommendation as to the 
young teacher’s qualifications and suitability to join the faculty. He was 
then relieved of all duties. A lengthy period of hearings and representa- 
tions in his behalf then ensued. The case was ended by the payment to 
the professor of the total salary he would have received during the 
whole contractual period of two years. 9 

Physical expansion proceeded at a steady pace. With the assistance 
of the College Housing Loan Program additional large apartment build- 


Bricks Without Straw 

ings were acquired and remodeled to become dormitories. 10 Aided by 
the Meyer Foundation, an official home for the president was purchased 
at 2330 Tracy Place.” 11 Other generous gifts from the Meyer Foundation 
were granted for program improvements and expansion. 12 Of the many 
benevolences of the Meyer family before and during this period, the 
largest was one of $1,000,000 given by Mrs. Agnes E. Meyer in memory 
of Eugene Meyer, her husband, who died July 17, 1959. The addition to 
the University Hospital, for which this gift was given, was named the 
Eugene Meyer Pavilion. 13 

In financing the expansion and improvement of the hospital great 
credit was due Speaker John W. McCormack of the House of Representa- 
tives, who introduced personally a bill drafted by the Department of 
Health, Education, and Welfare to allow for the purpose federal funds 
not to exceed $2,500,000 on a matching basis. 14 

Although Dr. Thomas Henry Carroll was elected president on August 
3, i960, he did not take office until February 1, 1961, when Admiral 
Colclough relinquished the duties of acting president and became provost 
and dean of the faculties. The thirteenth president was of the new breed 
of college presidents, trained in business administration. He had been 
assistant dean of the Harvard School of Business Administration, dean 
and professor in the College of Business Administration at Syracuse, and 
then had held the same position at the University of North Carolina. 
He had next become associated with the Ford Foundation and at the time 
he was elected president of the University he was vice president of the 

On his induction into office, the new president was greeted with high 
ceremony by the various elements of the University community. Pres- 
ident Carroll was introduced to the alumni at a gala dinner of the General 
Alumni Association. In an eloquent address he called for personal re- 
dedication, open-mindedness to new and different approaches to our 
common tasks, substantially increased financial support, and plain hard 
work. On the afternoon preceding the formal inauguration, President and 
Mrs. Carroll greeted more than two thousand faculty members and 
delegates from colleges, universities, and learned societies throughout 
the United States. 

The inaugural ceremony, held in the University Yard, was honored 
by the presence of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, President of the United 
States. Dr. Carroll was formally installed by Newell W. Ellison, Chairman 
of the Board of Trustees, who presented him with the symbols of his 


Since 1939 

office which he accepted “with both humility and confidence,” pledging 
to the whole University community full devotion to duty. In his inaugural 
address, he referred to the “seemingly ever-present dualism in higher 
education. . . . We must worship neither the status quo nor change for 
the mere sake of change. We ourselves must develop and we must teach 
our students respect for progress. But we must not make the false assump- 
tion that change and progress are necessarily synonymous. We must 
cultivate and elevate creativity and must recognize that progress and 
growth do necessarily involve some change.” Addressing himself par- 
ticularly to George Washington University, he called for rededication 
to the principle of responsible academic freedom, for increasing ac- 
ceptance of responsibilities in the field of international education, and for 
renewed acceptance of the central importance of the liberal arts college 
in the overall educational plan. In closing he emphasized that “the central 
interest of any great university faculty is students— both present and 
future, both at one’s own university and elsewhere. We hope con- 
tinuously to inculcate in our students a passion for learning, a respect 
for truth, a dedication to our nation’s basic values and traditions, and a 
devotion to personal fulfillment.” Messages of greeting were brought 
to the new president by President Clark Kerr of the University of 
California and former Dean McGeorge Bundy of Harvard University, 
representing institutions from which Dr. Carroll had received degrees, 
and by President-elect Logan Wilson of the American Council on Educa- 

The honorary degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon President 
Kennedy. In responding to President Carroll’s citation he remarked in 
humorous vein that “my wife beat me to this honor by eight or nine 
years. It took her two years to get a degree, and it took me two minutes; 
but in any case we are both grateful .” 15 He then referred to the obliga- 
tions of the trained man. “Quite obviously,” said the President, “the 
duty of the educated man and woman, the duty of the scholar, is to 
give his objective sense, his sense of liberty, to the maintenance of our 
society at a critical time. This is our opportunity as well as our responsibil- 
ity.” The distinguished guests of the University were honored at an 
Inaugural Luncheon following the ceremonies in the Yard . 16 

It was a tragic coincidence that the two young men who were the 
central figures at the inauguration were both to be cut down shortly, 
the President of the United States by an assassin’s bullet, the president of 
the University by illness. Each had attained eminence early in life; and 


Bricks Without Straw 

destiny ended their short careers at the summit, when great promise 
seemed the harbinger of large fulfillment. 

As regretfully brief as it was, President Carroll’s administration was in 
many ways a period of marked advance. The vice president and treasurer, 
Henry W. Herzog, even exceeded his own enviable past record in assem- 
bling and acquiring real estate in the University area. Alfred Henry 
Lawson, chairman of the Trustees’ Committee on Buildings and Lands, 
and John Keown McKee, chairman of the Finance Committee, were the 
members of the Board who were particularly active in an unprecedented 
expansion of the University’s holdings, facilitated by the very substantial 
assistance of the Federal Housing and Home Finance Agency. The 
dormitory system was expanded rapidly, the most spectacular single step 
being the acquisition of the large property on the southwest comer of 
Nineteenth and F Streets and the construction there, at a cost of over 
three million dollars, of Thurston Hall, a dormitory housing eleven 
hundred young women. 17 Negotiations were initiated which made possible 
the construction of the massive Joseph Henry Building at Twenty-first 
Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, with the National Academy of Sciences 
as the occupant on a twenty-year lease. 18 

The two major changes in the educational organization were the dis- 
continuance of the School of Pharmacy as of June, 1964, and the division 
of the School of Government, Business, and International Affairs into a 
School of Government and Business and a School of International Affairs, 
each under its own dean. 19 The names were later changed to the School 
of Government and Business Administration and the School of Public 
and International Affairs. The Institute for Sino-Soviet Studies was or- 
ganized to provide a program of specialized graduate study and research 
within the School of Public and International Affairs, giving an inter- 
disciplinary approach to the study of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, 
the Far Eastern Communist states, and the World Communist movement. 

In the spring of 1962, as a consultant for five universities in the District 
of Columbia Dr. Arthur Adams, then retiring as president of the American 
Council on Education, undertook a study of graduate work in the national 
capital. Although there had been earlier discussions, it was Dr. Adams’ 
“Study of the possibilities of a coordinated plan of graduate study and 
research for the Metropolitan D.C. area” that led to the formation of the 
Joint Graduate Consortium and its incorporation in 19 66 as “the Con- 
sortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.” A Board 
of Trustees was established, and an Administrative Committee composed 


Since 1959 

of provosts or vice presidents (one from each university) assumed the 
overview function. The consortium immediately addressed itself to open- 
ing the courses of each institution to graduate students of all five. Most 
foreign language courses, covering over fifty languages, were opened to 
students at any level and plans were also made for general junior and senior 
participation. Particularly significant was the work of the consortium’s 
Interuniversity Library Council in liberalizing the lending policy as 
related to the universities of the consortium, in sharing the facilities of 
member institutions, and in preparing a comprehensive plan of coopera- 
tion. The organization of the consortium was a tremendous step forward 
in the mobilization of the total university resources of the metropolitan 
area in the development of the District as an outstanding center of 
higher education. 20 

In the field of faculty relations, perhaps the most significant accomplish- 
ment was the redrafting and approval of the revised code governing 
academic personnel. The recent Fifth Amendment case, creating an 
unforeseen situation, had drawn attention to the need for a reworking 
of the code in the light of experience. With the active encouragement of 
the administration and the Trustees, the faculty formulated a code which 
was praised by the American Association of University Professors and 
accepted by it as adequate protection of academic tenure, removing 
completely any misgivings which might have existed over the initial 
handling of the recent case. 21 

Reference has been made to the appearance of a new type of student 
following World War I. In the 1920’s there was a small but noisy group 
of critics of the University administration; in the 1930’s the growth of 
European fascism suggested new wars and prompted peace demonstra- 
tions, much more vocal and of considerable size; in the 1 940’s youth 
was fighting in the war whose approach had been feared; in the late 
1950’s and early 1960’s civil rights were beginning to cause general 
campus discussion. Alleged discrimination in fraternities and sororities was 
the peg on which the discussion was first hung. At a student referendum 
in April, 1964, propositions were submitted by the civil rights group, 
the Student Council, and the Interfraternity Council. The greatest number 
of votes was cast for the Interfraternity Council’s proposal which imposed 
on the fraternities and sororities the responsibility for taking constructive 
steps to eliminate discrimination. 

Speaking before the Faculty Assembly, President Carroll referred to 
the University’s policy of nondiscrimination. He expressed the view that 


Bricks Without Straw 

the matter “cannot be dealt with once and for all by an official broad- 
side, by a rule, by threats to ban fraternities and sororities which have 
constitutionally restrictive clauses.” “It is,” he said, “changed attitudes 
which accomplish the end of removing old prejudices. We must not 
lift the principal burden of the problem from the shoulders of the 
sororities and the fraternities where it belongs.” 22 

In accordance with the administration’s view and the vote of the 
student referendum, the Board of Trustees amended Title I, Article I, 
of the Articles of Student Government to read: 

There is hereby vested in the Student Council the jurisdiction and authority 
to regulate, supervise, and coordinate within the limitation of the Board 
of Trustees, all student activities except intercollegiate athletics, publications, 
Interfraternity, Pan Hellenic, and activities for which academic credit is 
given . 23 

The sudden death of President Carroll occurred on July 27, 1964, end- 
ing an administration that had hardly begun, with plans announced but 
fulfillment tragically denied. The talents of a man of great industry were 
lost to the University and another interregnum had to be faced. Admiral 
Colclough had planned to retire, but he was asked to return as acting 
president, and John Anthony Brown was made vice president and dean 
of the faculties. Declaring that in spite of a vacancy in the presidency 
“the work of the University must go forward,” the Board asked its 
chairman to appoint a committee to select a new president and authorized 
him to ask the faculty also to appoint such a committee. The Faculty 
Committee was elected by the Faculty Assembly. 24 

Admiral Colclough’s interim term of one year was a busy one. For 
1964-1965, there were 12,000 students registered in the University, the 
largest registration since “the veterans’ bulge” of twenty years previously. 
The increase was ascribed to the marked increase in dormitory accommo- 
dations through the acquisition of Thurston and Mitchell Halls. 28 The 
character of the student body, now so largely resident, made necessary 
attention to providing a new and comprehensive Student Center, and 
immediate planning was authorized. In a series of hearings Vice President 
Brown and a committee asked and were given opinions by all sectors 
of the student body as to what such a building should provide. The 
student areas in the vast University Center embody these numerous 
student suggestions. 26 

As a result of prolonged discussion, intercollegiate football was dis- 

James Monroe Hall, G Street, west of Twenty-first Street, 1951. 

Thurston Hall, southwest corner of Nineteenth and F Streets, 1964. (R. W 
Howard. ) 

Winter Convocation of 1929, at which President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge re- 
ceived honorary degrees. 

Commencement of 1946 at which President Harry S. Truman received an honor- 
ary degree and Margaret Truman (Mrs. Clifton Daniel) her degree in course. 

Inauguration of Dr. Thomas Henry Carroll as thirteenth President of the Univer- 
sity in 1962, at which President Kennedy was one of the speakers and received an 
honorary degree. Left to right: Judge Walter M. Bastian; President Clark Kerr, 
University of California at Berkeley; Robert V Fleming, Chairman Emeritus of 
the Board of Trustees; President Emeritus Cloyd H. Marvin; President John F. 
Kennedy; Thomas H. Carroll, President of the University. 

Syngman Rhee, A.B. 1907, President of Korea, at the special convocation in his 
honor, 1954. 


Building C on G Street be- 
tween Twenty-second and 
Twenty-third Streets, 1970. (R. 
W Howard.) 

Tompkins Hall, Twenty-third 
Street between G and H 
Streets. 1956. 


Luther Rice Hall, Eye Street 
near Twenty- first ( 1968), and 
the Joseph Henry Building, 
Pennsylvania Avenue, 
Twenty-first and H Streets 
(1968). (R.W Howard.) 

The University Center on 
Twenty-first, H, and Eye 
Streets, 1970. (R. W Howard.) 

Equestrian statue of George Washington by Clark Mills, 1860 . It is in Washington 
Circle, facing the northwest corner of the University area. 

Since 1939 30$ 

continued. Membership in the Southern Conference was maintained for 
the time, but at the Conference’s spring meeting in 1969 the University’s 
withdrawal was announced, effective June 30, 1970. 

Dating from the revival of the Law School in 1865, the year 1965-1966 
was designated Law School Centennial Year, and an elaborate program 
of observance was carried out. The new Law Library was authorized 
and construction was begun. 27 The Jacob Bums Law Library was 
opened in 1967. 

The rapid acquisition of property in the University area continued; 
but particularly important were the conversations with the authorities of 
American University which led to the purchase and occupancy of its 
downtown plant, as arrangements for transfer to its Ward Circle Campus 
were completed. A contract was entered into with the National Academy 
of Sciences for a 20-year lease of the Joseph Henry Building. 28 

Admiral Colclough’s year was not only a busy one; it became a troubled 
one. The trouble arose in connection with the election of President 
Carroll’s successor. The Charter vests the power to elect the president in 
the hands of the Board of Trustees. A Trustees’ committee and a faculty 
committee were appointed to make recommendations to the Board. 
Each of these committees went about its work quickly and thoroughly, 
exchanging information and points of view with reference to the more 
than one hundred possible nominees that each had considered, in the 
hope that both would decide on the same nomination. Unfortunately this 
was not to be the case. Whereas Admiral Colcough had asked not to be 
considered under any circumstances, another member of the adminis- 
tration was anxious to be elected. He managed to bring to his support 
several deans, many faculty members, and a number of students. Their 
views were aired in the public press and reflected in the faculty com- 
mittee, which recommended that the search for a president be continued 
and withheld its approval of the man nominated by the Board’s committee. 
Considering the reports of the two committees before it, the Board 
unanimously elected the nominee named by its own committee. There 
was an expression of continued belligerency in the University Assembly 
and on the campus in favor of the unsuccessful candidate. A new pres- 
ident and a new chairman of the Board of Trustees changed the picture 
almost miraculously, and a transition which in prospect had seemed so 
troubled occurred with ease and harmony. 29 

The new administration began not only with a new president, but 
with a new chairman of the Board of Trustees. Newell W. Ellison, a 

3° 6 Bricks Without Straw 

graduate of both the College and the Law School and a distinguished 
member of the bar, had served as chairman of the Board of Trustees for 
six rugged years. A man of intense loyalty and devotion to the Univer- 
sity, he had given a major portion of his ability, time, and effort to his 
duties. His exertions had made inroads on his health and, following the 
election of Dr. Elliott, he found it necessary to say that he could not 
accept reelection to the chairmanship. The Trustees elected as Mr. 
Ellison’s successor Edward Karrick Morris, a graduate of Williams 
College, a successful businessman, and one of Washington’s outstanding 
civic leaders. His interest in the University was of long standing, dating 
back to the time when as a young man he had given it his services as 
baseball coach. He had consistently maintained friendly contact with 
many of the faculty and with students and student organizations. As a 
Trustee he was well known throughout the entire University community. 
Prepared to give practically his whole time to the institution, he was 
well equipped to undertake with President Elliott what came to be his 
special role. 

Lloyd Hartman Elliott, fourteenth president of the University, was 
forty-seven years old at the time of his election. He had had wide 
experience in the field of education, as teacher in the public schools of 
his native state of West Virginia, as high school principal and assistant 
superintendent of the Boulder Public Schools, and as member of the 
faculty and administrator at Cornell and the University of Maine, which 
he served as president from 1958-1965. He was under no false illusions 
as to the difficulties as well as the opportunities of the position to which 
he had been elected. Immediately upon his election he began to make 
personal contacts with people on all levels in the University community. 
In three months, he was on the campus prepared to take charge, already 
possessed of considerable information, enough to make his impact felt 
from the very beginning. President Elliott and Chairman Morris were 
particularly gifted in their ability to meet people easily and informally, 
and they made use of that ability. 

The president’s problems were many. Most immediate, because it was 
necessary if a healthy atmosphere was to be restored, was the problem 
of reconciliation. Divisions in the faculty and student body brought about 
by the events preceding the election were deep and bitter. Dr. Elliott 
was as aware of the situation as anyone was. He merely accepted the past 
as prologue and looked to the future. The voices of opposition and pro- 
test which had been so strident quickly ceased to be heard. The president 

Since 1999 901 

was easily available to a degree unusual with University heads. He prac- 
ticed not only good communication, but personal communication. 

The results of President Elliott’s policy were quickly noticeable. 
Reporting to the Board in October, 1965, Chairman E. K. Morris pointed 
out that student “restlessness to a dangerous degree was prevalent last 
spring,” but that the beginning of a changed attitude was seen in the 
reaction to the president’s address at the freshmen orientation rally. 
There had been the same change in alumni sentiment. “It has now become 
imperative,” he concluded, “for us to give evidence of performance if 
we are to maintain the favorable climate of enthusiastic cooperation of 
all the elements that make up our complex University society.” 30 

The next problem was, in common parlance, to give the University a 
lift, to break up the inertia which had begun to settle down in the late 
years of the Marvin regime and which had not been basically changed 
during the period of two interregnums and a short administration, 
tragically ended before it could build up momentum. The new regime, 
stimulated by the optimism of the president, the activity of his Board and 
its chairman, the increasing involvement of faculty, students, and alumni, 
the tangible evidence of active planning, the beginning of new con- 
struction, and the improvement of the old plant, gave a sense of move- 
ment, of going forward, of getting off dead center. In the days of Lord 
Nelson, someone has said, Englishmen awakened each morning wondering 
what new victory had been won. So it was as the fourteenth president 
got his program under way. 

Addressing the Board shortly after he assumed office, President Elliott 
had spoken of his intention to bring into sharper focus both short-range 
and long-range plans for the development of the University. This became 
a basic and continuing objective. At the same time, he called for a survey 
of the University’s relations to the federal government so that the institu- 
tion would not miss opportunities of value on the one hand, but on the 
other would not undertake obligations it did not want. Then there was 
the large problem of University organization. 31 

Forty years earlier, at the beginning of his administration. President 
Marvin had called for reorganization. With remarkable success he built 
up a system of unified control, by virtue of which practically all matters 
had to be processed through the president’s office. With a much smaller 
institution to deal with, he was unusually successful in bringing about 
rapid change. But as the years passed and the concerns of the institution 
multiplied, the presidential grasp relaxed. Unity in fiscal control remained, 

So8 Bricks Without Straw 

but in other matters deans and administrators carved out for themselves 
autonomous control over their units. While for a time there was a vice 
president, charged primarily with a specialized function, and toward the 
end an upper echelon of dean of faculties and treasurer and comptroller, 
there was no comprehensive effort to take care of the situation when 
centralized control had begun to erode. In the Carroll regime, a vice 
president for development was created and there was some shifting of 
titles. The problem as a whole remained for the new president to meet. 

The president’s first proposal, warmly approved by the Trustees, was 
for the formation of a council for each school and college, made up of 
representative elements and concerned directly with matters pertaining 
to its constituency. These, in a way, resembled the old visiting committees 
of the Board set up in the 1910 reorganization, with the important differ- 
ence that they were much more broadly based to insure ease in com- 
munication and wider stimulation of interest. Later councils of the same 
character were organized for each of the departments of instruction. 

President Elliott moved toward a systematic grouping of functions, 
placing each group under an appropriate vice president. Five vice presi- 
dents were appointed: Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice Presi- 
dent and Treasurer, Vice President for Resources, Vice President for 
Advanced Policy Studies, and Vice President for Student Affairs. 

The president’s handling of the Academic Senate differed from the 
method of his predecessors. Instead of being a body engaged in hearing 
discussions and pronouncements from the chair, President Elliott used it 
more readily to receive information than to give it. Its sessions were more 
open. Nonmembers and students were invited to present points of view, 
so that resolutions coming out of the Senate were expected to be based 
on an informed consensus of the total community. Because of its size and 
the natural infrequency of meeting, the Faculty Assembly, broadly inclu- 
sive in its membership, remained a relatively formal body, receiving reso- 
lutions for its assent from the Senate, hearing statements from University 
officers, receiving reports, performing organizational chores, and welcom- 
ing new appointees into its membership. It was available as a forum, the 
extent to which it was thus used depending upon the disposition of its 
members at any given session. 

The problem of student relations became more important and demand- 
ing than at any other period in the institution’s history. The new breed 
of students did not suddenly appear in the middle 1960’s. It had been 
in the making ever since the close of the First World War, but had 


Since 1999 

never been as noisy and as aggressive. Every one of the issues that had 
been raised in earlier waves of student unrest was revived: the Establish- 
ment in government and in the University, war, discrimination, civil 
rights. These were the Bastilles they stormed. The selection of issues was 
entirely a matter of opportunism. If an issue would produce a confronta- 
tion it was used. If it did not, it was laid aside and others tried. 

It must not be assumed that the total student body, or even a majority 
of it, was actively involved. Most students dressed according to the ac- 
cepted mode, attended lectures, studied assignments, wrote reports, took 
and, in decent numbers, passed examinations. They naturally were present 
at demonstrations to see what was going on. Demonstrations in the late 
1960’s rivaled football as a spectator sport. Spectators were easily con- 
fused with participants, and sometimes paid dearly for their presence. 
The literary standards of demonstration oratory were not high. At best 
colloquial, they slipped too easily into the vulgar and obscene. The at- 
tendant results of such confrontation were often what could be expected 
from any large group fired by agitators: physical injury, wanton destruc- 
tion and disfigurement of property, involvement with peace officers, and 
disruption of normal activity. 

Why had these manifestations of student unrest become so violent? 
In part it was due to the increasingly urban character of our population. 
In classic accounts of the Industrial Revolution, the vast numbers who 
had come out of rural settings and had been poured into teeming indus- 
trial centers were often called the deracines. Modern urban society had 
created a new deracine. Roots were not easy to come by. A highly mobile 
society resulted, and millions of its members were students in the col- 
leges. The old college had stood in loco parentis. It afforded a home away 
from home — food, lodging, medical services, organized recreation, and 
guidance. The new student did not reject facilities for his comfort; he 
demanded them, but not as a minor. Youths of eighteen were taken in 
the armed forces, and in some states had the suffrage. They were adults. 
In the mind of the new breed, the walls of the college were down. It 
was but a ward or a precinct in the local political unit, and they were 
involved in all the city’s problems — in fact, all society’s problems. It 
followed logically that they particularly must be involved in the gov- 
ernance of the University, a task for which the position of student gave 
them an especial aptitude. Such was their rationale, if they stopped to 
figure it out. 

Events and situations had led students in large numbers into a militant 


Bricks Without Straw 

expression of what they assumed their position in society to be. The civil 
rights struggle, the unpopular war in Vietnam, the alleged evidences of 
incipient fascism, the failure of Resurrection City, the assassination of 
popular leaders, liberal disappointments, cataclysms of destruction and 
violence — these were goads to action by the forces of unrest. 

An element of picturesqueness to some and of repugnance to others 
was the omnipresence of the so-called hippies at all demonstrations and 
student meetings, and with them the professional agitator, moving rapidly 
from city to city, wherever the action was. The hippie was not a new 
creation; Greenwich Village had known his type for decades, and the 
Continent knew it before New York did. Whether he was a student or 
not was entirely irrelevant. He was there and even in an age of informal 
attire he stood out because of his costume and hirsute adornment; in the 
public mind student actionist and “hippie” became, incorrectly, synony- 
mous to many people. 

Assuming that in spite of liberal demands to take over a larger share 
of the governance of the University, chartered powers were bound to re- 
main largely in the hands of Trustees and faculties, there were indications 
that a student’s right to know would be granted, and that a responsible 
student request would be assured of a hearing. If there were conces- 
sions, they were primarily along the line of improved communications, 
presented in a way nowise disparaging to the student’s claim to his own 
dignity and maturity or to the right to present his point of view before 
the decisions were taken. 

This was the student body from which leadership for the next several 
decades was to be produced. Student demands, legitimate or otherwise, 
in no way reduced the obligations of the University, although they did 
increase its embarrassments at times. Under President Elliott’s guidance, 
the plans for the development of the University were brought into sharp 
focus. “By establishing new, broad-based structures for participation,” 
he wrote, “we hope to encourage the development of a true University 
community which can communicate its concerns within the University 
and then beyond; by cooperating with other institutions, and by using our 
talents and resources where most appropriate, we hope to make a real 
contribution toward ameliorating the urban problems of our time .” 32 
The necessary physical additions and changes over the next several years 
were outlined, and a financial plan for defraying the cost of needed plant 
changes and the proper funding of the University’s mission was carefully 
worked out . 33 Although enormous in size, the task of raising this fund 

Since 1959 311 

was accepted by the president and the Board of Trustees as a major task 
immediately ahead. 

A five-year development plan adopted in 1967 called for the addition 
to University assets of nearly $90 million by 1972, including more than 
$54 million from private gifts. Looking confidently to the firmer basis 
which this would insure, the University prepared to move into the last 
half of its second century. 

It is quite possible, indeed highly probable, that in the future the effect 
of the city on the University will be much more complicated than it has 
been in the past. The city that we have known is being rapidly absorbed 
into the great eastern megalopolis. It has seen great demographic change. 
The decentralization of many government establishments and their 
removal outside the central city has had its effects. Vast shifts of popula- 
tion to neighboring counties of Maryland and Virginia and the movement 
into the city of new groups with a less favored economic status, particu- 
larly from the South, have transformed the character of the city’s inhabi- 
tants. The frequent reference to the heart of the old city as “the inner 
city” suggests the social change which has occurred. Statistics of student 
enrollment indicate that already the University, with its students from 
every state in the Union and from eighty foreign countries, is a university 
of the eastern megalopolis, with its student body roughly proportional 
to the population of the states along the eastern seaboard. This poses new 
problems totally different from those with which the University had to 
contend during its first century and a half. 

The strength of George Washington University today rests in its in- 
dependence of any denominational or other control; its location, happily 
chosen in the heart of the capital city, and the utilization of the oppor- 
tunities that that location offers; the loyalty and ability of its officers 
and faculty; the eminence of its graduates, particularly in the field of 
public service; the willingness of distinguished men and women to devote 
time and talents as Trustees; the faith of generous donors in its mission; 
and the inspiration of a worthy tradition and of a great name. 


The prime source for the history of the University is the Minutes of the Board 
of Trustees , preserved without a break from the organization meeting in 1821 
to the present. The Minutes present the only continuing record of the Univer- 
sity, or any of its parts, from the founding to the present. Fortunately the 
actions of the Executive Committee of the Board, whose minutes are available 
for scattered periods only, seem to have been regularly reported to the full 
Board and are recorded in its Minutes. The circulars of the early College and 
the annual catalogues form the next most important class of material. From 
the beginning to about 1850, there are many gaps in this material. For the 
earlier period, there were many years when no new circular was issued, due 
largely to the fact that a supply left over from a preceding year was used until 
exhausted. Some of them were even updated by hand. 

Selected material from student files up to 1928 is available on microfilm. 
Since 1928 full student files have been preserved; they are being progressively 
microfilmed, and are in the custody of the registrar. As secretary ex officio of 
the University Senate and the faculties, the same officer has the more recent 
minutes of those bodies in his keeping. Faculty minutes for the first century 
have been preserved only in part. All the records of National University in 
its possession when merged in George Washington University in 1954 are 
arranged chronologically in bound volumes and are deposited in the Archives. 

No student publications are available until the turn of the century except a 
few bound volumes of the records of the meetings and the compositions of 
the literary societies, of which the Enosinian was the most important and 
long-lived. The principal publications have been Columbian Call, 1895-1899; 
Columbian Weekly, 1903-1904; the University Hatchet, 1904- , for many 

years a weekly, now issued twice a week; the annual, the Columbiad, 1898- 
1903; The C, 1904; the Mall, 1905-1907; and The Cherry Tree, 1908- 

The George Washington University Bulletin has been published since 1902 
and is the most important printed source for information during the most 
recent period of the University’s history. The annual volumes of the Bulletin 
have varied in the numbers of parts issued during the year. The annual 
catalogue appears regularly as a number of the Bulletin. The content of the 
other numbers has not been consistent, including at various times the reports 
of the president and of the treasurer; accounts of important ceremonies such 
as centennial celebrations and inaugurals; announcements of new policies, 
schools, and curricula; and even, during one period, scientific and literary 

Student handbooks, manuals of information for undergraduates primarily, 


General Bibliographical Note 

have been published with fair regularity since the Needham administration. 
Numerous periodicals have been published to acquaint alumni and the in- 
terested public with various aspects of University life and history. Both title 
and format of these periodicals changed frequently. The most useful have 
been George Washington University Alumni Review, 1936-1959; Confidential 
from Washington, 1942-1950; George Washington University Federalist, 
1954-1963; GIT, The George Washington University Magazine, 1964- ; 

George Washington University Newsletter, 1958, 1961- 

While many pieces of ephemera have been preserved, they represent a 
pitiful fraction of this very valuable material that has been produced. Much of 
it is undated, and its classification is impossible because its highly miscellaneous 
nature ranges from student manifestos, sub rosa publications of humor, satire, 
and protest, and even printed announcements of mass meetings, to official 
notices of changes in fees and regulations and new courses of study published 
and distributed by the University. 

No recent general alumni catalogue has been published. The three most im- 
portant are: Historical Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates of the Colum- 
bian University, Washington, D.C., 1821-1891, compiled by H. L. Hodgkins 
(Washington, 1891); General Alumni Catalogue of George Washington Uni- 
versity, compiled by W. J. Maxwell (n.p.n.d.), extending from 1821 to 1916; 
and The George Washington University Alumni Directory, 1824-1937 (Wash- 
ington, 1938), edited by Marcelle Le Menager Lane. A medical alumni direc- 
tory and a law alumni directory were issued in 1965 and 1969 respectively. 

While historical sketches galore have constantly appeared as introductory 
material in catalogues and other University publications, no full-length history 
has been previously attempted. Of the more lengthy publications devoted to 
University history over an extended period the most widely used have been 
the “Historical Sketch” in the Hodgkins catalogue and the “Historical Out- 
line” in the Lane directory, both noted above, and the following: James C. 
Welling, Brief Chronicles of the Columbian College from 1821 to 1873 and of 
the Columbian University from 1873 to 1889 (Washington, 1889); Charles 
Herbert Stockton, “Historical Sketch of George Washington University, 
Washington, D.C. — formerly known as Columbian University and Columbian 
College, accompanied by a sketch of the lives of the Presidents,” Records of 
the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, D.C. (Washington, 1916), Vol. 
19, pp. 99-139; Margaret Davis and Lester Smith, A University in the Nation’s 
Capital, 1821-1947 (Washington, 1947); Robert C. Willson, A Chronological 
Outline of Some of the Major Steps in the Development of the George Wash- 
ington University to 1934 (typescript, 1955); Elmer Louis Kayser, The George 
Washington University, 1821-1966 (Washington, 1966). 

Thirty-five years ago as an NYA project Professor Lowell Ragatz directed 
a team of students in making a full transcript of all references to the College 
during its first half-century which appeared in the Washington press and in 
certain denominational publications, particularly the Columbian Star and the 
Latter Day Luminary. Full use has been made of this material, which is now 
deposited in the University Collection. 

General Bibliographical Note 315 

The University has an important collection of Luther Rice documents, 
including one hundred thirty letters written by Rice 1821-1836, a major portion 
of his Journal, the logbook of his outward voyage to India in 1812, his register 
of letters written and received, notebooks, subscription books, accounts and 
checks, and many letters written to him. Of the letters of the first four 
presidents, very few remain in the possession of the University. The collection 
of President Samson, the fifth head of the college, is much fuller. The Welling 
material is largely in printed form, due to his custom of distributing printed 
communications to the Trustees for their information before Board meetings, 
some of them bearing dates for future release. Practically nothing remains of 
the correspondence of President Whitman during his brief administration. 
Beginning with the administration of President Needham in 1902, the corres- 
pondence of the presidents, now mainly in typewritten form, is basically fully 
preserved, subject always to the editorial zeal of the individual as to what 
he wants to leave in his files. 

In the Bibliographical Comments which precede the Notes for each chapter, 
material of special value for the period covered is indicated. 

Bibliographical Comments 

In a chapter of such necessarily broad scope as an overview chapter, the range 
of bibliographical material is equally broad in scope. The chapters which 
follow each have Bibliographical Comments covering material pertinent to the 
particular chapter; therefore no such comments are included for this chapter. 


1 Based on figures in People and Land, a Portion of the Comprehensive Plan for 
the National Capital, National Park & Planning Commission, Washington, D.C., 
Monograph No. 2 (June, 1950). 

Bibliographical Comments 

For the history of Washington, see Wilhelmus Bogart Bryan, A History of the 
National Capital, from Its Foundation Through the Period of the Adoption 
of the Organic Act, 2 vols. (New York, 1914, 1916); and Constance McLaugh- 
lin Green, Washington, Village and Capital, 1800-1878 (Princeton, 1962), and 
Washington, Capital City, 1878-1970 (Princeton, 1963). For the history of 
American colleges, see Frederick Rudolph, The American College and Univer- 
sity: A History (New York, 1962); Donald G. Tewksbury, The Founding of 
American Colleges and Universities Before the Civil War with Particular Ref- 
erence to the Religious Influences Bearing upon the College Movement (New 
York, 1932; Anchor, 1965). 

For George Washington’s bequest and its fate, see Elmer Louis Kayser, 
Washington's Bequest to a National University (Washington, 1965); Martin 
Paul Claussen, Jr., The Fate of Washington's Bequest to a National University 
(Washington, 1968); David L. Madsen, The National University, Enduring 
Dream of the USA (Detroit, 1966). 

The sources for the development of the missionary movement, as it involved 
Rice, and for the life of Rice are: First Ten Annual Reports of the American 
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions with Other Documents of 
the Board (Boston, 1834); Proceedings of Triennial Convention 1814-1846 
and Annual Reports of the Board of Managers 1814-1846 (Ann Arbor, 
1964); Logbook of Rice on His Outward Journey to Asia in 18 12; Rice’s 
Journal; Letters of Rice (1821-1836) and his contemporaries, business records, 
and miscellanea; Leonard Woods, A Sermon Delivered at the Tabernacle in 
Salem, February 6, 1812 (Boston, 1812) at Rice’s ordination; Stephen Chapin, 
A Sermon Delivered in the First Baptist Church Before the Board of Trustees 
of the Columbian College, D.C., with an Obituary Notice of Its Principal 


31S Bibliographical Comments; N otes 

Founder, the Rev. Luther Rice (Washington, 1837). The manuscript of Rice’s 
Journal, a large portion of which is in the University Collection, has been 
microfilmed in toto. The other Rice manuscripts listed are in the University 

Among the biographies of Luther Rice are: Saxon Rowe Carver, Ropes to 
Burma: The Story of Luther Rice (Nashville, 1961), “a Actionized biography 
for young readers”; Elmer Louis Kayser, Luther Rice, Founder of Columbian 
College (Washington, 1966); Edward Bagley Pollard, Luther Rice, Pioneer in 
Missions and Education, edited and completed by Daniel Garden Stevens 
(Philadelphia, 1928); James Barnett Taylor, Memoir of Rev. Luther Rice, 
One of the First American Missionaries to the East, 2nd ed. (Nashville, 1937); 
Evelyn Wingo Thompson, Luther Rice, Believer in Tomorrow (Nashville, 

For Adoniram Judson, see Edward Judson, Life of Adoniram Judson (New 
York, 1883); Francis Wayland, A Memoir of the Life and Labors of the Rev. 
Adoniram Judson, D.D., 2 vols. (Boston, 1853); Courtney Anderson, To the 
Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson (Boston, 1936). 

For the development of the Theological Institution of the Triennial Conven- 
tion, the source is Proceedings of the Triennial Convention (1814-1846) and 
Annual Reports of the Board of Managers ( 1814-1846) (Ann Arbor, 1964). 

Basic with reference to the Baptist relationships of the early college are 
Baptist Missionary Magazine, vols. 1-30, January, 1817-December, 1850 (Bos- 
ton, J. Putnam); Columbian Star, vols. 1-4, February 2, 1822-December 31, 
1825 (Washington, Anderson and Meehan); Latter Day Luminary, vols. 1-6, 
February, 1818-December, 1823 (Philadelphia, Anderson and Meehan). These 
are available in the American Periodical Series, 1800-1830 (University Micro- 
films, Ann Arbor, Michigan). 


1 Frederick Rudolph, The American College and University (New York, 1962), p. 

2 David L. Madsen, “The University of the United States,” Journal of Higher 
Education, Vol. 23, No. 7 (October, 1962), pp. 334 ff.; Elmer Louis Kayser, Washing- 
ton's Bequest to a National University (Washington, 1963); Martin Paul Claussen, 
Jr., The Fate of Washington’s Bequest to a National University (Washington, 1968). 

3 Claussen, op. cit., pp. 14-21. 

4 E. Richardson Holbrook, General George Washington's Will, Records of Fairfax 
County, Virginia, Wherein He Lived and Died (Fairfax, Va., 1904), p. 15. 

5 Luther Rice, Journal, September, 1804. No day stated. 

6 Ibid., January 17, 1804. 

7 Ibid., September 13, 1805. 

8 Quoted in Edward B. Pollard, Luther Rice, Pioneer in Missions and Education. 
Edited and completed by David Gurden Stevens (Philadelphia, 1928), p. 120. For a 
brief biography of Rice, see Elmer Louis Kayser, Luther Rice, Founder of Columbian 
College (Washington, 1966). 

Chapter Three 3 l 9 

9 First Ten Annual Reports of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign 
Missions with Other Documents of the Board (Boston, 1834), pp. 2, 10. 

10 Ibid., pp. 19-22. 

11 Leonard Woods, A Sermon Delivered at the Tabernacle in Salem, February 
6, 1812 (Boston, 1812). 

12 Rice, op. cit., February 6, 1812. 

13 First Ten Annual Reports of the American Board of Commissioners, pp. 55-62; 
Clifton Jackson Phillips, Protestant America and the Pagan World: The First Half 
Century of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 1810-1860, 
Harvard East Asian Monographs 32 (Cambridge, 1969), pp. 21, 23, 34-35, 37. 

14 Proceedings of the Baptist Convention for Missionary Purposes; Held in Phila- 
delphia in May, 1814 (Philadelphia, 1814), pp. 3-12. 

The numbering of the various sessions of the Triennial Convention is confusing. 
The sessions are described as follows: 

First Session, 1814, is referred to as the Triennial Convention. 

Second Session, 1817, as the First Triennial Meeting. 

Third Session, 1820, as the Second Triennial Meeting. 

Fourth Session, 1823, as the Fourth Triennial Meeting. 

From the Fourth Triennial Meeting on, the number of the meeting and the 
number of the session are the same. 

15 First Annual Report of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions for the United 
States (Philadelphia, 1815), p. 10. 

16 Proceedings of the General Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the 
United States at Their First Triennial Meeting (Philadelphia, 1817), pp. 131, 132. 

17 Proceedings of the Baptist Convention for Missionary Purposes, pp. 25-42. 

18 Fourth Annual Report of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions (Philadelphia, 
1818), pp. 193-203. 

19 “First Annual Report of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions for the United 
States,” Latter Day Luminary, Vol. 1, No. 8 (May, 1819), p. 395. 

20 “Proceedings of the General Convention at Their Second Triennial Meeting and 
the Sixth Annual Report of the Board,” ibid., Vol. 2, No. 13 (May, 1820), p. 124. 

21 Ibid., p. 128. 

22 Ibid., p. 129. 

23 “General Education Plan,” ibid., pp. 153-155. 

24 “Address of the General Convention of the Baptist Denomination Assembled at 
Philadelphia on the 26th of April, 1820,” ibid., p. 112. 

25 “Seventh Annual Report of the Board,” ibid., Vol. 2, No. 18 (May, 1821), pp. 
377 - 379 - 

Bibliographical Comments 

For the purchase of College Hill, recourse must be had to the Land Records 
of the District of Columbia and to pertinent deeds in the Office of the Re- 
corder of Deeds, to the Proceedings of the Triennial Convention and Annual 
Reports of the Board of Managers, as well as to Luther Rice’s Journal. 

The movement to obtain a charter can be traced through the Annals of 

320 Bibliographical Comments; Notes 

the Congress of the United States and the Proceedings of the Triennial Con- 
vention and Annual Reports of the Board of Managers. The Charter (Stat. at 
Large, vol. 6, pp. 255-258, 16th Cong., 2d Sess., Chap. 10) is in the National 


1 H. Paul Caemmerer, Historic Washington, Capital of the Nation (Washington, 
1948), p. 21. 

2 “Proceedings of the General Convention at Their Second Triennial Meeting and 
the Sixth Annual Report of the Board,” Latter Day Luminary , Vol. 2, No. 13 (May, 

1820) , p. 129. 

3 Ibid., pp. 120, 146-150. 

4 Deed recorded March 10, 1821, in Liber WB2 at Folio no, Office of Recorder of 
Deeds, District of Columbia. 

5 John Albert Tillema, “Church and State,” Confidential from Washington, No. 37 
(March, 1947). 

When the attempt to obtain a charter from Congress failed, a committee of the 
Board consisting of the Reverend Dr. Staughton, the Reverend Mr. McLaughlin, and 
Professor Chase was appointed to seek a charter “through the channel of the Attorney 
General and Judges of the Supreme Court of the State of Pennsylvania.” The com- 
mittee succeeded in its efforts and “The General Convention of the Baptist Denomina- 
tion in the United States for Foreign Missions, and other important Objects relating 
to the Redeemer’s Kingdom” became a body politic and corporate in law, by the 
authority of the State of Pennsylvania. Latter Day Luminary, Vol. 2, No. 18 (May, 

1821) , p. 341. 

6 Annals of the Congress of the United States, 16th Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 27, 36, 40, 41. 

7 Ibid., pp. 1 17, 123, 149, 150, 802, 858, 86 j. 

8 Ibid., pp. 997-999- 

9 Tillema, op. cit.; Annals of the Congress, 16th Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 1792-1796; 
Report of an Investigation of the Financial and Educational Affairs of The George 
Washington University, Transmitted to the House of Representatives by the Attorney 
General, June 2, 1910, and Referred to the Committee on the District of Columbia 
(Washington, 1910), pp. 3, 4. 

10 “Seventh Annual Report of the Board,” Latter Day Luminary, Vol. 2, No. 18 
(May, 1821), p. 381. 

11 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (November 15, 1821), p. 25. 

12 Ibid., Vol. 1 (June 27, 1821), pp. 16-17. 

13 Ibid., Vol. 1 (November 24, 1821), pp. 26-27. 

14 “Seventh Annual Report of the Board,” pp. 378-380. 

15 Ibid., p. 385. 

16 Eighth Annual Report of the Board of Managers of the General Convention of 
the Baptist Denomination in the United States, for Foreign Missions (Washington, 

1822) , p. 386. 

17 Indentures recorded December 11, 1821, in Liber WB4 at Folios 191-200, Office 
of the Recorder of Deeds, District of Columbia. 

18 “Seventh Annual Report of the Board,” p. 382; Minutes of the Board of 
Trustees, Vol. 1 (April 19, 1821), p. 7. 

Chapter Four 

Bibliographical Comments 


From the opening of the College, the Minutes of the Board of Trustees be- 
come the major source for the history of the institution. For its early history, 
the Trustees’ Minutes are of greater value than would be expected, for two 
reasons. In the first place, the Board dealt with the widest range of matters, 
from questions of policy to details that would seem too minor to be brought 
up at faculty meetings. In the second place, all circulars of the early College, 
all matters concerning courses of instruction, fees, and student rules were in- 
corporated in the Minutes. During this early period, the Proceedings of the 
Triennial Convention and Annual Reports of the Board of Managers remain an 
important source. 

The Laws of the Columbian College, adopted January 13, 1824, was an 
elaborate piece of codification dealing with the whole question of governance 
of the institution. Included were the regulations for student conduct which 
remained virtually unchanged for decades. These were reprinted year after 
year, and students were required to read them and to declare their assent 
publicly. The Laws and many copies of the printed rules for students are in 
the University Archives. 

For President Staughton, see William Staughton, Address Delivered at the 
Opening of the Columbian College in the District of Columbia, January 9, 
1822 (Washington, 1822); Letters of Rice (1821-1836) and his contemporaries, 
in the University Collection; S. W. Lynd, Memoir of the Rev. William Staugh- 
ton, D.D. (Boston, 1834), in the University Collection. 

The development of the Preparatory School and the professional depart- 
ments can be followed through the Minutes of the Board of Trustees-, but for 
the Medical Department, see also Thomas Sewall, A Lecture Delivered at the 
Opening of the Medical Department of the Columbian College in the District 
of Columbia (Washington, 1825); J. M. Toner, M.D., Anniversary Oration 
Delivered Before the Medical Society of the District of Columbia, September 
26, 1866 (Washington, Cunningham and McIntosh). 

Interesting for a student’s and a graduate’s observations is John Calvin 
Stockbridge, A Memoir of the Life and Correspondence of the Rev. Baron 
Stow, D.D., Late Pastor of the Rowe Street Baptist Church, Boston (Boston, 
1871). Stow was a graduate in the class of 1825. 


1 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (October 5, 1821), p. 20. 

2 Eighth Annual Report of the Board of Managers of the General Convention of 
the Baptist Denomination in the United States, for Foreign Missions (Washington, 
1822), pp. 386, 387, 394. 

3 Ibid., p. 386. 

4 William Staughton, Address Delivered at the Opening of the Columbian College in 

$22 Bibliographical Comments; Notes 

the District of Columbia, January p, 1822 (Washington, 1822), pp. 20, 24, 25, 26, 28, 
29, 30, 31. 

5 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (April 19, 1821), p. 9. 

6 Elmer Louis Kayser, “Science in the Early College,” GTE: The George Washing- 
ton University Magazine, Winter, 1968, pp. 27-29; Minutes of the Board of Trustees, 
Vol. 1 (April 19, 1821), p. 9. 

7 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (April 20, 1822), pp. 37-38. 

8 Laws of the Columbian College, adopted January 13, 1824. 

9 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (April 19, 1821), p. 10. 

10 Ibid., Vol. 1 (June 30, 1821), pp. 18, 19. 

11 American Baptist Magazine, 1823, p. 140. 

12 S. W. Lynd, Memoir of the Rev. William Staughton, DD. (Boston, 1834), pp. 

13 Deed of Trust recorded December 27, 1827, in Liber WB20 at Folio 294, Office 
of the Recorder of Deeds, District of Columbia. 

14 Lynd, op. cit., p. 203; James C. Welling, Brief Chronicles of the Columbian 
College from 1821 to i8ys, and of the Columbian University from i8qi to 1889 
(Washington, 1889), pp. 7-8. 

15 Lynd, op. cit., p. 240. 

16 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (April 20, 1822), p. 37. 

17 Ibid., Vol. 1 (November 24, 1821), pp. 27-29. 

18 Ibid., Vol. 1 (October 19, 1824), pp. 88-90; Circular, The Medical Department 
of the Columbian College, August, 1825. 

19 Jonathan Elliot, Historical Sketches of the Ten Miles Square Forming the 
District of Columbia (Washington, J. Elliot, Jr., 1830), pp. 241-245; Wilhelmus 
Bogart Bryan, A History of the National Capital (New York, 1916), Vol. 2, pp. 200, 
201; J. M. Toner, M.D., Anniversary Oration Delivered Before the Medical Society 
of the District of Columbia, September 26, 1866 (Washington, Cunningham and 
McIntosh); Dean’s Book, Minutes of the Meetings of the Medical Professors of the 
Columbian College, 1839-1880, pp. 4, j, 7-9 (University Archives). 

20 Thomas Sewall, A Lecture Delivered at the Opening of the Medical Department 
of the Columbian College in the District of Columbia (Washington, 1825). 

21 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (February 3, 1826), p. 116. 

22 Ibid., Vol. 1 (February 24, 1826), pp. 117, 118; Helen Newman, “William Cranch, 
Judge, Law School Professor, Reporter,” Law Library Journal, Vol. 26, No. 4 
(October, 1933); Allen C. Clark, Greenleaf and Law in the Federal City (Washington, 
1901), pp. 47-66; F. DeWolfe Miller, Christopher Pearse Cranch (Cambridge, 1951), 
pp. 6, 7. 

23 Quoted in Newman, op. cit., p. 14. 

24 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (March 26, 1825), p. 100. 

25 General Catalogue of the Newton Theological Institution, 1826-41 (Newton 
Center, 1943), pp. xi, xii; Andover Newton Quarterly, January, 19 66, inside front 

26 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (December 14, 1825), p. in. 

27 “Proposals for Publishing in Washington City The Columbian Star, Devoted to 
Religion and Science,” Eighth Annual Report of the Board of Managers (Washing- 
ton, 1822). This statement was printed on the cover. 

28 Columbian Star, December 28, 1822, p. 3. 

29 Bryan, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 45. 

30 Columbian Star, October 16, 1824, p. 3. 

Chapter Five 32 3 

31 Daily National Intelligencer, December 11, 1824, p. 3. 

32 Ibid., December ij, 1824, p. 3. 

33 Frank E. and Helen B. Edgington, History of New York Avenue Presbyterian 
Church (Washington, 1962), p. 19. 

34 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (December 2, 1824), p. 93. 

35 Columbian Star, December 18, 1824, p. 2. 

33 Daily National Journal, December 17, 1824, p. 3; Daily National Intelligencer, 
December 18, 1824, p. 3. 

37 Columbian Star, December 18, 1824, p. 2; Lynd, op. cit., p. 114. 

38 Catalogue of the Enosinian Society, Columbian College, District of Columbia 
(Washington, 1859), pp. 4-17. 

39 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (September 30, 1824), p. 87. 

40 Ibid., Vol. 1 (December 20, 1824), p. 97. 

41 American Baptist Magazine, 1823, p. 217. 

Bibliographical Comments 

The early financial crisis of the College can be followed through the Minutes 
of the Board of Trustees, the Proceedings of the Triennial Convention and 
Annual Reports of the Board of Managers, the Letters of Rice and his con- 
temporaries in the University Collection, the Columbian Star and other Wash- 
ington newspapers, and the Annals of Congress and the Register of Debates in 
Congress. See also Lynd, Memoir of the Rev. William Staughton, D.D., and 
Stockbridge, A Memoir of the Life and Correspondence of the Rev. Baron 


1 Latter Day Luminary, Vol. 2, No. 18 (May, 1821), p. 384; Eighth Annual Report 
of the Board of Managers of the General Convention of the Baptist Denomination in 
the United States, for Foreign Missions (Washington, 1822), p. 386; American 
Baptist Magazine, 1823, p. 140; ibid., 1824, p. 424; ibid., 1823, p. 217. 

2 Luther Rice to O. B. Brown, September 3 and October 24, 1821 (University 
Collection) . 

8 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (January 13, 1824), p. 76; James C. 
Welling, Brief Chronicles of the Columbian College from 1821 to 1813, and of the 
Columbian University from 1833 to 188(1 (Washington, 1889), pp. 9, 10. 

4 Latter Day Luminary, Vol. 2, No. 13 (May, 1820), pp. 122, 129; Eighth Annual 
Report of the Board of Managers, p. 380. 

5 Luther Rice to O. B. Brown, February 18, 1826 (University Collection). 

6 Proceedings of the Baptist Convention for Missionary Purposes; Held in Phila- 
delphia in May, 1814 (Philadelphia, 1814), p. 3. 

7 Ibid., p. 42. 

8 Latter Day Luminary, Vol. 2, No. 13 (May, 1820), p. 124. 

9 American Baptist Magazine, 1825, p. 217. 

3 24 Bibliographical Comments; N otes 

10 S. W. Lynd, Memoir of the Rev. William Staughton, D.D. (Boston, 1834), pp. 
263, 264. 

11 Proceedings of the Fifth Triennial Meeting of the Baptist General Convention, 
Held in New York, April, 1826 (Boston, 1826), pp. 14, 15. 

12 Ibid., pp. 16, 24, 25. 

13 Ibid., pp. 18, 29. See also pp. 76, 77. 

14 Ibid., p. 18. 

15 Ibid., pp. 18, 19; Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (May 13, 1826), pp. 
120, 121. 

16 Proceedings of the Fifth Triennial Meeting, p. 21. 

17 Ibid., p. 42. 

18 Elon Galusha to William Ruggles, September 4, 1826 (University Collection). 

19 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (May 13 and 13, 1826), pp. 122-128. 

20 Ibid., Vol. 1 (May 30, 1826), p. 130. 

21 Ibid., Vol. 1 (September 18, October 2 and 18, 1826), pp. 153— 157. 

22 The Columbian College in the District of Columbia, March 14, 1827 (four-page 
leaflet, University Collection). 

23 Luther Rice to O. B. Brown, August 21, 1826 (University Collection). 

24 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (February 23 and March 6, 1827), pp. 

25 Luther Rice to O. B. Brown, August 21, 1826 (University Collection) ; Minutes 
of First Baptist Church, November 10, 20, and 24, 1826, quoted in Edward B. Pollard, 
Luther Rice, Pioneer in Missions and Education. Edited and completed by David 
Gurden Stevens (Philadelphia, 1928), pp. 96-99. 

26 Luther Rice to Iveson L. Brookes, November 23, 1826 (University Collection). 

27 Elmer Louis Kayser, “The j5-Year Professor,” The George Washington Faculty 
Newsletter, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Spring, 1963); Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 
(March 14 and 18, 1827), pp. 195-203. 

28 Ibid., Vol. 1 (December 21, 1826), pp. 172, 173. 

29 Ibid., Vol. 1 (March 26, 1827), p. 214. 

30 Ibid., Vol. 1 (April 21 and 27, 1827), pp. 218, 219. 

31 Ibid., Vol. 1 (April 30, 1827), pp. 219, 220. 

32 Assignment recorded April 12, 1827, in Liber WB17 at Folio 407, Office of the 
Recorder of Deeds, District of Columbia. 

33 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (May 9, 1827), p. 223. 

34 Lynd, op. cit., pp. 263-271. 

35 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (April 11, 1827), p. 216. 

36 Quoted in Lynd, op. cit., p. 291. 

37 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (December 15, 1827), p. 260. 

38 Christian Secretary (Hartford, Connecticut), May 10, 1828. See also pp. 64-65. 

39 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (May 9, 1828), pp. 273, 274. 

40 Ibid., Vol. 1 (June 30, 1827), pp. 232, 233. 

41 Ibid., Vol. 1 (August 30, 1827), p. 242. 

42 Ibid., Vol. 1 (April 8, 1828), pp. 266, 267. 

43 Columbian Star, April 26, 1828. 

44 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (August 28, 1827), p. 218; ibid. (Septem- 
ber 24, 1827), pp. 251, 252; ibid. (October 20, 1827), p. 254; ibid. (June 20, 1828), pp. 
276, 277. 

45 Records of the Columbia Historical Society (Washington, D.C., 1916), Vol. 19, 
p. 130. 

Chapter Six 

Bibliographical Comments 


The various stages in the recovery of solvency can be traced in the Minutes 
of the Board of Trustees, the Proceedings of the Triennial Convention and 
Annual Reports of the Board of Managers, and the Congressional Globe. In- 
formation about gifts for endowment and scholarships during the period will 
be found in the report of the Attorney General on the financial condition of 
the University of December 6, 1910 (61st Cong., 3d Sess., H. Doc. 1060). On 
the transformation of the General Convention into the American Baptist Mis- 
sionary Union and the transfer of the title to College Hill to the College, see 
Baptist Missionary Magazine, Vol. 26, and the deed in the Office of the Re- 
corder of Deeds. Sessford’s survey of the city lots granted by Congress is in 
the University Collection. For John Quincy Adams’ relations with the College 
in reference to the use of the Smithsonian bequest and his loans to the College 
secured by mortgage, see Samuel Flagg Bemis, John Quincy Adams and the 
Union (New York, 1956) and George Brown Goode (ed.), The Smithsonian 
Institution, 1846-1896: The History of its First Half Century (Washington, 
1897). The indenture and release can be found in the Office of the Recorder 
of Deeds. Letters with reference to the debt and Adams’ receipt in full are in 
the University Collection. 


1 Records of the Columbia Historical Society (Washington, D.C.), vol. 19, p. 130; 
Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (April 30, 1827), p. 221; ibid., Vol. 1 
(December ij, 1827), p. 260; ibid., Vol. 2 (March j, 1842), p.68. 

2 Quoted in Edward B. Pollard, Luther Rice, Pioneer in Missions and Education. 
Edited and completed by Daniel Gurden Stevens (Philadelphia, 1928), p. 69. 

3 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (September 10, 1828), p. 283. 

4 Proceedings of the Sixth Triennial Meeting of the Baptist General Convention, 
Held in Philadelphia, 1829 (Boston, 1829), pp. 23-24. 

5 Proceedings of the Seventh Triennial Meeting of the Baptist General Convention 
for Missionary Purposes, Held in New York, April, 1892 (Boston, 1832), p. 8. 

6 Proceedings of the Eighth Triennial Meeting of the Baptist General Convention 
for Missionary Purposes, Held in Richmond, April, 1835 (Boston, 1835), pp. 7, 61, 62. 

7 Baptist Missionary Magazine (Boston), Vol. 18, No. 6 (June, 1838), pp. 124, 127. 

8 Minutes of the Tenth Triennial Meeting of the Baptist General Convention for 
Foreign Missions, Together with the Twenty-seventh Annual Report of the Board 
of Managers, Baltimore, Maryland, April 28-May 4, 1841 (Boston, 1841), p. 8. 

9 Baptist Missionary Magazine, Vol. 24, No. 7 (July, 1844), pp. 156, 171, 226. 

10 Ibid., Vol. 26, No. 1 (January, 1846), p. 9. 

11 Ibid., Vol. 26, No. 7 (July, 1846), p. 219. 

12 Deed recorded November 10, 1851, in Liber JAS32 at Folio 170, Office of the 
Recorder of Deeds, District of Columbia. 

326 Bibliographical Comments; Notes 

13 Baptist Missionary Magazine , Vol. 26, No. 1 (January, 1846), pp. n, 12; ibid., 
Vol. 26, No. 7 (July, 1846), pp. 165, 166, 224-228. 

14 See pp. 64, 65, 76, 77. 

15 Deed recorded May 6, 1834, in Liber WB30 at Folio 3, Office of the Recorder of 
Deeds, District of Columbia. 

ie 6ist Cong., 3d Sess., H. Doc. 1060, pp. 5-7; Minutes of the Board of Trustees, 
Vol. 2 (January 23, 1839), p. 40. 

17 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 2 (August 29, 1843), p. 90; ibid., Vol. 
2 (December 24, 1845), p. 93; ibid., Vol. 2 (July 12, 1848), p. 124; ibid., Vol. 2 
(March 10, 1852), p. 147; ibid., Vol. 2 (August 3, 1853), p. 224. 

18 Ibid., Vol. 2 (May 3, 1832), p. 139; ibid., Vol. 2 (June 1, 1832), p. 162; ibid., 
Vol. 2 (May 12, 1833), p. 207. 

19 Ibid., Vol. 2 (June 1, 1832), p. 162; ibid., Vol. 2 (May 12, 1853), P- 20 7 ; His- 
torical Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates of the Columbian University, Wash- 
ington, D.C., 1821-1891. Compiled by H. L. Hodgkins (Washington, 1891), pp. 13, 33. 

20 Deed recorded June 6, 1829, in Liber WB23 at Folio 487, Office of the Recorder 
of Deeds, District of Columbia. 

21 Samuel Flagg Bemis, John Quincy Adams and the Union (New York, 1936), pp. 
19722., 306-309, 540, 341. 

22 Minutes of the Board of Trustees , Vol. 2 (May 23, 1839), pp. 41, 43; ibid., Vol. 
2 (October 12, 1840), p. 49; ibid., Vol. 2 (April 23, 1841), p. 34; ibid., Vol. 2 (May 
21, 1841), p. 39; letter of J. Q. Adams to George Wood, October 20, 1837 (University 
Collection); Receipt of J. Q. Adams to Andrew Rothwell, May 3, 1842 (University 

23 Deed of Release recorded June 4, 1839, in Liber JAS176 at Folio 133, Office of 
the Recorder of Deeds, District of Columbia. 

Bibliographical Comments 

In the absence of other sources, the Minutes of the Board of Trustees, supple- 
mented by James C. Welling, Brief Chronicles of the Columbian College from 
1821 to 1873 and of the Columbian University from 1873 to 1889, and local 
newspapers, have been followed for the account of the administrations of 
Chapin, Binney, and Bacon. The correspondence in the Arnold case is in the 
University Collection. 


1 Waterville Intelligencer, quoted in the Washington Chronicle, October 18, 1828. 

2 Washington Chronicle, October 11 and November 29, 1828. 

3 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 1 (December 20, 1824), p. 97. 

There is a sheet inserted in the Minutes, written in Chapin’s hand and dated March 
7, 1842, recommending the sale of the walls of the West Wing, with a notation that 
the recommendations were adopted by a 4 to 1 vote. 

Chapter Eight S 2 1 

4 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. i (January io, 1827), p. 179; ibid., Vol. 
3 (November 16, i860), p. 39. 

5 Ibid., Vol. 2 (September 27, 1841), pp. 61, 61%. 

6 Ibid., Vol. 2 (April 1, 1847), p. 104. 

7 Ibid., Vol. 2 (July 26, 1844), p. 82; ibid., Vol. 2 (August 16, 1844), p. 84; ibid., 
Vol. 2 (March 3, 1847), p. 100. 

B lbid., Vol. 2 (June 9, 1848), p. 121; ibid., Vol. 2 (September 23, 1848), pp. 125, 
126; ibid., Vol. 2 (March 30, 1848), p. 128; ibid., Vol. 2 (July j, 1851), p. 142; ibid., 
Vol. 2 (October 2, 1831), p. 144; ibid., Vol. 2 (November 19, 1831), p. 145; ibid., 
Vol. 2 (August 9, 1833), p. 229; ibid., Vol. 2 (April 11, 1853), p. 280; ibid., Vol. 3 
(October 17, 1839), p. 7; ibid., Vol. 2 (February 2, 1833), p. 274. 

9 Ibid., Vol. 2 (June 1, 1832), p. 160; ibid., Vol. 2 (October 13, 1832), pp. 181, 186; 
ibid., Vol. 2 (April 13, 1853), p. 201; ibid., Vol. 2 (June 2, 1833), pp. 210 ff.; ibid., 
Vol. 2 (July 13, 1833), pp. 220-224; ibid., Vol. 2 (August 9, 1833), p. 228. 

10 Historical Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates of the Columbian University, 
Washington, D.C., 1821-1891. Compiled by H. L. Hodgkins (Washington, 1891), 
pp. 16, 17; Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 2 (May 21, 1841), p. 38; ibid., Vol. 
2 (October 13, 1832), p. 181; ibid., Vol. 2 (July 11, 1835), p. 284. 

11 Ibid., Vol. 2 (April 22, 1847), pp. 103, 106. 

12 Ibid., Vol. 2 (July n, 1835), p. 288; ibid., Vol. 2 (September 24, 1835), P- 298 ; 
ibid., Vol. 3 (June 26, i860), p. 17; ibid., Vol. 3 (November 16, i860), p. 39. 

13 Ibid., Vol. 2 (July 27, 1835), p. 290. 

u Ibid., Vol. 2 (July 27, 1833), pp. 290 ff.; ibid., Vol. 2 (February 23, 1859), p. 
413; ibid., Vol. 2 (April 13, 1839), pp. 423-430. 

15 Ibid., Vol. 3 (October 12, 1859), pp. 3, 4. 

16 The (Daily) Globe, Vol. 2, No. 99 (October 6, 1832), p. 3. 

17 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 2 (October 10, 1835), pp. 304-306. 

18 Washington News, October 14, 1848, p. 3. 

19 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 2 (March 1, 1847), p. 98. 

20 Joel S. Bacon to S. S. Arnold, January 28, 1847; Joel S. Bacon to H. J. Arnold, 
February, 1847; Joel S. Bacon to Baron Stow, February, 1847; D. N. Sheldon to Joel 
S. Bacon, April 30, 1847; Joel S. Bacon to D. N. Sheldon, May 8, 1847 (University 

21 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 2 (September 1, 1838), p. 403. 

22 Ibid., Vol. 3 (June 26, i860), p. 19. 

Bibliographical Comments 

In addition to what has been cited before, the Samson papers in the University 
Collection, the gift of the late Henry Whitefield Samson, are important. Also 
useful is Hodgkins (comp.), Historical Catalogue. 


B ibliograp hi cal C omments; Notes 


1 Donald G. Tewksbury, The Founding of American Colleges and Universities 
Before the Civil War (Anchor, 1965), p. 28. 

2 Washington News, October 27, 1849, p. 3. 

3 Luther Rice to O. B. Brown, September 1, 1826, Petersburg, Virignia, and October 
1, 1827, Richmond, Virginia (University Collection). 

4 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 2 (August 14, 1841), p. 61 14. 

5 Minutes of the Tenth Triennial Meeting of the Baptist General Convention for 
Foreign Missions, Together with the Twenty-seventh Annual Report of the Board 
of Managers, Baltimore, Maryland, April 28-May 4, 1841 (Boston, 1841), p. 21. 

6 Minutes of the Twenty-ninth Annual Meeting of the Board of Managers of the 
Baptist General Convention for Foreign Missions, Together with the Twenty-ninth 
Annual Report, Albany, April 26-21, '843 (Boston, 1843), pp. 12, 49-ji; Minutes of 
the Tenth Triennial Meeting of the Baptist General Convention for Foreign Missions, 
pp. 79-81. 

7 Baptist Missionary Magazine (Boston), Vol. 25, No. 7 (July, 1845), p. 146. 

8 Robert George Torbet, A History of the Baptists (Philadelphia, 1950), pp. 299- 
310; Baptist Missionary Magazine, Vol. 25, No. 7, pp. 150-iji. 

9 Arthur Charles Cole, The Irrepressible Conflict 1830-1863 (New York, 1934), 
P- 47- 

10 The County of Alexandria was retroceded to the State of Virginia in 1846. 

11 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 2 (June 15, 1852), pp. 64 ff. 

12 Ibid., Vol. 2 (February 23, 1859), p. 417. 

13 Rufus C. Burleson, Statement with Reference to G. W. Samson; George C. 
Samson et al., Samson Genealogy (University Collection); William Allen Wilbur, 
Temple Baptist Church, Washington, D.C., Through Ninety Years (Washington, 
1932), pp. 6-10. 

14 J. L. M. Curry, “Dr. Fuller and Dr. Samson During the War Between the States,” 
Religious Herald (Richmond, Virginia), January 4, 1900. 

15 George Whitefield Samson, Columbian University Realizing Washington’s Mis- 
sion, p. 13. (Manuscript, no date. University Collection.) 

16 Historical Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates of the Columbian University, 
Washington, D.C., 1821-1831. Compiled by H. L. Hodgkins (Washington, 1891). 

17 Ibid., pp. 13-14. 

18 19th Cong., 1st Sess., Sen. Doc. 35, 36, 44, 48 (Gales and Seaton, Washington, 

19 The Globe, Vol. 10, No. 21 (July 8, 1840), p. 1. 

20 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 2 (June 17, 1847), p. 113. 

21 The Globe, new series, Vol. 1 (July 27, 1844), p. 3. 

22 Sister Bernadette Arminger, R.N., Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, 
The History of the Hospital Work of the Daughters of Charity of Vincent de Paul 
in the Eastern Province of the United States, 1832-1860 (typescript, 1949); Robert 
Williams Prichard, M.D., Historical Sketch of the Medical School, 1823-1341, The 
George Washington University (Washington, 1947). 

23 Wilhelmus Bogart Bryan, A History of the National Capital (New York, 1916), 
Vol. 2, pp. 337-341; Washington News, November 13, 1853, p. 2; ibid., January 21, 
1834, p. 2; The George Washington University Medical Alumni Directory 1826-1363 
(Washington, 1965), p. vi. 

Chapter Nine 

Bibliographical Comments 


For the War period (1861-1865), the Samson papers and the Minutes of the 
Board of Trustees have been followed. For Carver and Columbian College 
General Hospitals see, in addition, John Wells Bulkley, The War Hospitals , 
in the Washingtoniana Collection of the Public Library; Walt Whitman, The 
Wound Dresser, ed. by Richard M. Bucke (New York, 1949), and the records 
in the National Archives. The University Collection includes a large number 
of originals and copies of pictures of College Hill while it was being used for 
military purposes. A detailed account of conditions in Columbian College 
Hospital is given in Anna L. Boyden, Echoes from Hospital and White House, 
A Record of Mrs. Rebecca R. Pomroy’s Experiences in War-Times (Boston, 


1 “The Sessford Annals,” Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, 
D.C. (Washington, 1908), Vol. 11, pp. 272 ff. 

2 Albert W. Atwood, ed., Growing with Washington (Washington, 1948), p. 36. 

3 Wilhelmus Bogart Bryan, A History of the National Capital (New York, 1916), 
Vol. 2, pp. 451-462. 

4 John Wells Bulkley, The War Hospitals, pp. 148-149 (Washingtoniana Collection, 
District of Columbia Public Library). 

5 William D. Haley to Quartermaster General, U.S.A., June 10, 1861, with endorse- 
ments (National Archives). 

6 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 3 (June ij, 1861), pp. 51, 53; ibid., Vol. 3 
(October 26, 1862), p. 89. 

7 George Whitefield Samson to Quartermaster General, U.S.A., August 12, 1861 
(National Archives). 

8 Bulkley, op. cit., pp. 147, 148. 

9 Walt Whitman, The Wound Dresser. Richard M. Bucke, ed. (New York, 1949), 
pp. xv, 31, 3j, 36, 39, 182, 191. 

10 George Whitefield Samson, “Religious Convictions of American Statesmen; Illus- 
trated in President Lincoln,” Christian Inquirer, April 13, 1893. 

11 Theodore Calvin Pease and James C. Randall, eds., The Diary of Orville Hick- 
man Browning (Springfield, 111 ., State Historical Library, 1925), Vol. jo, 1850-1864, 
p. 546; Anna L. Boyden, Echoes from Hospital and White House, A Record of Mrs. 
Rebecca R. Pomroy’s Experience in War-Times (Boston, 1884), pp. 93-98. 

Mrs. Rebecca R. Pomroy, of Chelsea, Massachusetts, served for the greater part of 
the war as a nurse in Columbian College Hospital. Her activities covered a wide 
range. With direct personal access to Miss Dorothea Dix, the Superintendent of 
Women Nurses, and to President Lincoln, she was able to wield wide influence at 
the hospital and to get action on recommendations which otherwise would have been 
bogged down in official red tape. A record of her experiences has been preserved 
by Anna L. Boyden in the above title. From a highly personal point of view, this 
is probably the most circumstantial account of conditions at the hospital. 

530 Bibliographical Comments; N otes 

12 George Whitefield Samson to C. A. Finley, Surgeon General, U.S.A., October 
28, 1861. 

13 Captain C. J. H. Crowell to Brevet Major General D. H. Rucker, September 17, 

14 General Order No. 10, December 5, 1861, W. W. H. Davis, Commanding 1st 
Brigade, Casey’s Division. 

15 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 3 (April 24, 1861), pp. 47, 49; ibid., Vol. 
3 (June 24, 1862), p. 72; ibid., Vol. 3 (June 23, 1863), pp. 97 II.; ibid., Vol. 3 (June 
28, 1864), p. 1 16; ibid., Vol. 3 (June 27, 1865), p. 142. 

16 Ibid., Vol. 3 (June 24, 1862), p. 74. 

17 Ibid., Vol. 3 (June 23, 1863), pp. 97-98; Dean’s Book, Minutes of the Meetings of 
the Medical Professors of the Columbian College (University Archives); J. M. 
Toner, M.D., Anniversary Oration Delivered Before the Medical Society of the 
District of Columbia, September 26, 1866 (Washington, Cunningham and McIntosh), 
pp. 47, 48. 

18 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 3 (July 9, 1862), p. 79; ibid., Vol. 3 
(August ij, 1862), p. 87. 

19 Ibid., Vol. 3 (June 28, 1864), p. 1 16; ibid., Vol. 3 (June 27, 1865), p. 142. 

20 Ibid., Vol. 3 (July 12, 1865), p. ijo. 

21 Historical Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates of the Columbian University, 
Washington, D.C., 1821-1891. Compiled by H. L. Hodgkins (Washington, 1891), p. 

22 Robert Williams Prichard, Historical Sketch of the Medical School, 1825-1947, 
The George Washington University (Washington, 1947), p. 7. 

23 John Frederick May, “The Mark of the Scalpel,” Records of the Columbia 
Historical Society, Washington, D.C. (Washington, 1910), Vol. 13, pp. 31 ff. 

Bibliographical Comments 

The Minutes of the Board of Trustees and the Samson papers are the major 
sources for the concluding years of the administration of the fifth president. 


1 Wilhelmus Bogart Bryan, A History of the National Capital (New York, 1916), 
Vol. 2, pp. 472, 473, 489-491- 

2 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 3 (May 10, 1863), p. 142. 

3 Ibid., Vol. 3 (April 23, 1867), pp. 188 ff.; ibid., Vol. 3 (June 23, 1867), pp. 191, 192. 
4 Ibid., Vol. 3 (August 2, 1863), p. 158; ibid., Vol. 3 (April 11, 1866), pp. 161, 162, 

169; ibid., Vol. 3 (June 23, 1867), pp. 191-192. 

5 Ibid., Vol. 3 (July 27, 1863), p. 146. 

6 Ibid., Vol. 3 (June 23, 1867), pp. 191, 192; ibid., Vol. 3 (February 12, 1869), p. 236. 

7 Ibid., Vol. 3 (April 23, 1863), p. 136. 

8 Ibid., Vol. 3 (June 23, 1867), p. 194. 

Chapter Eleven 331 

9 Ibid., Vol. 3 (May ij, 1868), pp. 218, 219; ibid., Vol. 3 (July 8, 1868), p. 232; 
ibid., Vol. 3 (November 30, 1869), p. 256. 

10 In Memoriam (Amos Kendall), Washington, 1869; Powrie Vaux Doctor, “Amos 
Kendall, Nineteenth Century Humanitarian,” Gallaudet College Bulletin, Vol. 7, 
No. 1 (October, 1957); Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 3 (November 12, 
1869), p. 249. 

11 Elmer Lotus Kayser, “The 5j-Year Professor,” The George Washington Univer- 
sity Faculty Newsletter, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Spring, 1965). 

12 Historical Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates of the Columbian University, 
Washington, D.C., 1821-1891. Compiled by H. L. Hodgkins (Washington, 1891), pp. 

13 Festus P. Summers, ed., A Borderland Confederate (Pittsburgh, 1962), pp. 1-6, 

14 George Crossette, Founders of the Cosmos Club of Washington, 1878 (Wash- 
ington, 1966), pp. 115-117. 

15 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 3 (April 13, 1870), pp. 265-266; ibid., 
Vol. 3 (May 24, 1870), p. 270; ibid., Vol. 3 (May 31, 1870), pp. 271-273; ibid., Vol. 
3 (June 27, 1870), pp. 262-265; ibid., Vol. 3 (June 26, 1870), pp. 291-292; ibid., Vol. 
3 (July 12, 1871), p. 294; ibid., Vol. 3 (July 22, 1871), p. 297; George Whitefield 
Samson, Final Report as President of Columbian College (Washington, D.C., June, 

16 St at. at Large 50, Vol. 6, Secs. 5, 6, pp. 255-258. 

Bibliographical Comments 

For the Welling period the Minutes of the Board of Trustees must be supple- 
mented by the pamphlets brought out at irregular intervals for the information 
of the Board. Some of these pamphlets lack titles, many of them lack dates. 
Some are drafts of resolutions recommended by the president and submitted for 
study before meetings of the Board, others are really reports or detailed recom- 
mendations. The texts of legislative enactments modifying the original Charter 
and the text of the Charter itself are given conveniently in 61st Cong., 3d Sess., 
H. Doc. 1060. Welling’s Brief Chronicles of the Columbian College from 1821 
to 1873 and of the Columbian University from 1873 to 1889 and his The 
Columbian University: Notes on Its Relations to the City of Washington Con- 
sidered as the Seat of a National Baptist University (Washington, 1889) are 
very valuable. Of the Welling pamphlets referred to above, the most im- 
portant are Plan of Columbian University ( April 23, 1873 ); recommendations 
for graduate study, published without title, March 14, 1893; The Columbian 
University, Extract from the Minutes of a Meeting of the Corporation, Held 
June 18, 1881, all in the University Collection. For details on the administra- 
tion of endowment and prize funds, see H. Doc. 1060, referred to above. The 
public occasions of the institution were fully reported in the Washington press 
of the period. 


Bibliographical Comments; N otes 


1 Laws of the District of Columbia, 1871-1872, Pt. 2, pp. 21, 22; Acts of the Legis- 
lative Assembly of the District of Columbia, 1st Sess., Chap. 18. 

2 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 3 (June 24, 1873), p. 366. 

3 Ibid., Vol. 3 (July 22, 1871), p. 298; ibid., Vol. 3 (August 11, 1871), p. 306; ibid., 
Vol. 3 (October n, 1871), pp. 314 ff. 

*lbid., Vol. 3 (September 25, 1871), pp. 311-312. 

5 Ibid., Vol. 3 (January 10, 1872), p. 317. 

6 Ibid., Vol. 3 (March j, 1872), p. 320; ibid., Vol. 3 (April 10, 1872), pp. 321-322; 
ibid., Vol. 3 (June 25, 1872), p. 336. 

7 Ibid., Vol. 3 (August 11, 1871), pp. 308-309; ibid., Vol. 3 (April 10, 1872), p. 323. 

8 Ibid., Vol. 3 (September 18, 1872), pp. 341-348. 

9 Stat. 50, Vol. 17, p. 629, 42c! Cong., 3d Sess., Chap. 328. 

10 James C. Welling, Brief Chronicles of the Columbian College from 1821 to 1873 
and of the Columbian University from 1873 to 1889 (Washington, 1889), p. 22. 

11 61st Cong., 3d Sess., H. Doc. 1060, December 7, 1910. 

12 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 3 (June 24, 1873), p. 361. 

13 Ibid., Vol. 3 (December 17, 1873), p. 384. 

14 Welling, op. cit., p. 23; Charles H. Stockton, “Historical Sketch of George 
Washington University,” Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, 
D.C. (Washington, D.C., 1908), Vol. 19, pp. 138-139. 

15 Plan of Columbian University, April 25, 1873 (4 pp., University Collection). 

16 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 3 (April 10, 1872), p. 322. 

17 The report of the committee appears in a pamphlet of 9 pages printed by order 
of the Corporation for purposes of information, revision, and criticism, and headed 
The Columbian University. Extract from Minutes of a Meeting of the Corporation, 
held June 18, 1881 (University Collection). 

18 Address by John W. Powell, LL.D., Delivered on the Inauguration of the Cor- 
coran School of Science and Arts in the Columbian University, Washington, D.C., 
October 1, 1884 (Washington, 1884), 20 pp. 

19 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 4 (June 15, 1883), pp. 122-125; ibid., 
Vol. 4 (December 13, 1886), pp. 186-188; ibid., Vol. 4 (June 13, 1887), pp. 199, 200. 

20 Ibid., Vol. 4 (March 14, 1888), p. 223. 

21 Ibid., Vol. 4 (June 17, 1889), p. 269; ibid., Vol. 4 (October 22, 1890), p. 323; 
ibid., Vol. 4 (September 28, 1892), pp. 407-410. 

22 Ibid., Vol. 4 (June 6, 1888), pp. 227, 228; ibid., Vol. 4 (December 21, 1892), pp 

23 Ibid., Vol. 4 (September 28, 1892), pp. 401, 404; ibid., Vol. 4 (December 21 
1892), p. 413. 

24 Recommendations for graduate study were published in a pamphlet, without 
title, for the information of the Board of Trustees, dated March 14, 1893 (University 
Collection) . 

25 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 4 (June 19, 1883), pp. 433, 435; ibid., 
Vol. 4 (October 24, 1893), p. 317. 

26 Ibid., Vol. 3 (June 29, 1875), p. 431. 

27 Ibid., Vol. 3 (June 20, 1877), PP- 497-498. 

28 Ibid., Vol. 3 (September 18, 1878), p. 348. 

29 Ibid., Vol. 3 (December 13, 1880), pp. 584-387; ibid., Vol. 3 (December 17, 1880), 
p. 589. 

Chapter Eleven 333 

30 Ibid., Vol. 3 (March 16, 1881), p. 589; ibid., Vol. 3 (June 1, 1881), pp. 59 2 * 593 - 

31 Ibid., Vol. 3 (June 8, 1881), pp. 594-396. 

32 Ibid., Vol. 3 (June 18, 1881), pp. 609-615. 

33 Ibid., Vol. 3 (November 22, 1881), pp. 615-618. 

3i lbid., Vol. 3 (November 22, 1881), pp. 615-618; ibid., Vol. 3 (January 11, 1882), 
pp. 621, 622; ibid., Vol. 3 (March 11, 1882), pp. 621-622; ibid., Vol. 3 (April 12, 1882), 
pp. 624-628. 

35 Ibid., Vol. 4 (June 14, 1882), pp. 1-3. 

36 Ibid., Vol. 4 (September 20, 1882), pp. 16, 17. 

37 Ibid., Vol. 4 (December 20, 1882), p. 18. 

33 Ibid., Vol. 4 (December 20, 1882), p. 22; ibid., Vol. 4 (April 3, 1883), p. 25. 

39 Ibid., Vol. 4 (June 6, 1883), pp. 29, 30. 

40 Ibid., Vol. 4 (April 21, 1883), p. 26. 

41 Ibid., Vol. 4 (June 6, 1883), p. 30; ibid., Vol. 4 (June 18, 1883), p. 36. 

42 Ibid., Vol. 4 (September 19, 1883), p. 67. 

43 Ibid., Vol. 4 (June 18, 1883), p. 37. 

44 Ibid., Vol. 4 (June 6, 1883), pp. 31, 32. 

45 Ibid., Vol. 4 (September 19, 1883), p. 61. 

48 Catalogue of the Officers and Students of the Columbian University, for the 
Academic Year 1883-1884 (Washington, 1884), p. 2. 

47 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 4 (June 15, 1885), p. 122. 

48 Ibid., Vol. 4 (April 25, 1884), p. 74; ibid., Vol. 4 (September 17, 1884), p. 99. 

49 Ibid., Vol. 4 (June 16, 1884), pp. 80, 81; ibid., Vol. 4 (December 17, 1884), pp. 

50 Ibid., Vol. 4 (June 6, 1888), p. 227. 

51 Stockton, op. cit., p. 1 19; Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 4 (June 16, 
1890), pp. 300, 301. 

52 Letter from the Attorney General Transmitting the Final Reports on the Finan- 
cial Condition of The George Washington University, 61st Cong., 3d Sess., H. Doc. 

53 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 4 (June 18, 1888), p. 231; William Wilson 
Corcoran, A Grandfather's Legacy, Containing a Sketch of His Life, and Obituary 
Notices of Some Members of His Family, Together with Letters from His Friends 
(Washington, 1879). 

The work of art referred to was Henry Bacon’s painting, “The Boston Boys.” 

54 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 4 (June 18, 1888), p. 255. 

55 Ibid., Vol. 4 (March 20, 1889), p. 264; ibid., Vol. 4 (June 5, 1889), p. 266; ibid., 
Vol. 4 (June 17, 1889), p. 269; ibid., Vol. 4 (October 9, 1889), pp. 290-292; ibid., 
Vol. 4 (November 19, 1889), pp. 293-295. 

56 Ibid., Vol. 4 (January 25, 1894), pp. 530-538. 

57 Ibid., Vol. 4 (January 25, 1894), p. 523; ibid., Vol. 4 (March 14, 1894), p. 541; 
ibid., Vol. 4 (June 13, 1894), p. 552. 

88 Dictionary of American Biography (New York, 1936), Vol. 19, pp. 633-634; 
1831-1894 President James C. Welling, LLJD., Memorial Service Under the Joint 
Auspices of the Columbian University and the Societies and Organizations of Which 
He was a Member (Washington, 1895); George Crossette, Founders of the Cosmos 
Club of Washington, 1838 (Washington, 1966), pp. 168-170. 

334 Bibliographical Comments; Notes 

Bibliographical Comments 

For the brief Whitman administration, the Minutes of the Board of Trustees 
is the only source available. For the Needham period, the material is quite 
ample. The proceedings of the Board are recorded with great fullness, many 
documents being quoted verbatim. The various numbers of The George 
Washington University Bulletin include much information, in addition to the 
annual educational offerings and lists of students. The presidential files, de- 
posited in the Archives, begin with the Needham period— thanks, no doubt, 
to the use of the typewriter which had become general by that time. Impor- 
tant for the change of name and the affiliation with the George Washington 
Memorial Association is the correspondence with Mrs. Archibald Hopkins 
and Mrs. Susan Whitney Dimock; for the nation-wide campaign for funds 
for a new site, the correspondence with Mitchell Carroll and Richard Harlan. 
Recalling that the Attorney General’s investigation was prompted by incidents 
that occurred in the Needham administration, we find in H. Doc. 1060, referred 
to frequently before, along with A Report of an Investigation of the Financial 
and Educational Affairs of The George Washington University, printed for 
the use of the House Committee of the District of Columbia (61st Cong., 2d 
Sess., 1910), a very detailed picture in quantitative terms of the University’s 
funds, property, equipment, personnel, educational organization, and financial 
policies, fully documented. The attempt to have George Washington Univer- 
sity designated as an institution to receive Morrill Act funds, which, in a way, 
prompted the Attorney General’s investigation, is fairly well covered in the 
Needham correspondence. 


1 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 3 (June 17, 1895), p. 43; Charles H. 
Stockton, “Historical Sketch of George Washington University,” Records of the 
Columbia Historical Society (Washington, D.C., 1916), Vol. 19, p. 135. 

2 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. j (June 18, 1894), p. 19; ibid., Vol. j 
(June ij, 1896), p. 107. 

3 Ibid., Vol. j (December 4, 1895), p. 80; ibid., Vol. 5 (March n, 1896), p. 87. 

4 Ibid., Vol. j (July 1, 1895), p. 74; ibid., Vol. j (February 17, 1896), p. 81. 

® Ibid., Vol. j (April 29, 1897), P- 58. 

8 Ibid., Vol. 3 (June 1, 1898), pp. 291 ff.; ibid., Vol. 3 (July 16, 1898), p. 329. 

7 Ibid., Vol. 5 (October 12, 1898), p. 331. 

8 Ibid., Vol. 3 (May 31, 1899), pp. 364-363. 

9 Ibid., Vol. 3 (May 31, 1899), p. 339. 

10 Ibid., Vol. 5 (June 15, 1896), p. 138; ibid., Vol. 3 (June 1, 1898), p. 284. 

11 Ibid., Vol. s (June 1, 1898), p. 288; ibid., Vol. 5 (May 31, 1899), p. 364. 

12 Ibid., Vol. 3 (April 29, 1897), P- l 59 - 

13 Ibid., Vol. 3 (April 13, 1898), pp. 266-269. 

Chapter Twelve 333 

14 Ibid., Vol. 5 (January 11, 1899), p. 341. 

15 Ibid., Vol. 3 (November 29, 1897), pp. 245-249; ibid., Vol. j (June 1, 1898), pp. 

16 Ibid., Vol. 5 (November 29, 1897), p. 244; ibid., Vol. 5 (January 9, 1901), p. 478; 
ibid., Vol. 5 (March 4 and March 8, 1902), pp. 533-535. 

17 Ibid., Vol. 5 (December 23, 1896), p. 142. 

18 Ibid., Vol. 5 (June 15, 1896), p. 104. 

19 6ist Cong., 3d Sess., H. Doc. 1060, pp. 72, 73. 

20 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 5 (April 6, 1898), pp. 261-263. 

21 Ibid., Vol. 5 (May 31, 1899), p. 373. 

22 Ibid., Vol. 5 (January 18, 1900), p. 449; ibid., Vol. 5 (March 10, 1900), p. 450. 

23 Ibid., Vol. 5 (January 10, 1900), pp. 442, 443; ibid., Vol. 5 (January 18, 1900), 
pp. 446-448. 

2i Ibid., Vol. 5 (March 12, 1897), p. 144; ibid., Vol. 5 (April 14, 1897), pp. 146, 
147; Conversations with Charles Wendell Holmes, 61st Cong., 3d Sess., H. Doc. 1060, 
P- 47 - 

25 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 5 (June 1, 1898), pp. 275-276. 

26 Ibid., Vol. 5 (May 31, 1899), p. 351. 

27 “Reverend George Whitefield Samson, D.D.,” The Evangelist, September 24, 
1896, p. 5. 

28 Stockton, op. cit., pp. 138-139; Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 5 (May 
30, 1900), p. 470; ibid., Vol. 5 (January 9, 1901), p. 474. 

29 Ibid., Vol. 5 (June 18, 1894), p. 17. 

30 George Crossette, Founders of the Cosmos Club of Washington, 1878 (Washing- 
ton, 1966), pp. 115-117. 

31 Ibid., pp. 165-167. 

32 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 6 (June 18, 1902), p. 20. 

33 Ibid., Vol. 5 (March 10, 1900), p. 452. 

si Ibid., Vol. 6 (October 13, 1902), pp. 25-29. 

35 Ibid., Vol. 6 (February 20, 1904), p. 168. 

36 Ibid., Vol. 6 (October 13, 1902), pp. 30-32; ibid., Vol. 6 (January 14, 1903), p. 
95; ibid., Vol. 6 (May 26, 1903), p. 105. 

37 Ibid., Vol. 6 (January 14, 1903), pp. 84-86. 

38 The George Washington University Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 4 (December, 1909), 
p. 13. 

39 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 6 (October 14, 1903), pp. 123-137. 

40 Ibid., Vol. 6 (October 29, 1903), pp. 143-144. 

41 Ethel M. B. Morganston, “Davy Bumes, His Ancestors and Their Descendants,” 
Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, D.C., 1948-1930 (Washing- 
ton, 1952), Vol. 50, pp. 116-119. 

42 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 6 (February 20, 1904), p. 183. 

43 Ibid., Vol. 6 (October 29, 1903), p. 140. 

4 *Ibid., Vol. 6 (May 2, 1904), p. 188. 

45 David L. Madsen, The National University, Enduring Dream of the U.S.A. 
(Detroit, 19 66), pp. 67, 68, 107-110; Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 6 (May 
26, 1903), p. 112; ibid., Vol. 6 (May 2, 1904), p. 186. 

48 Ibid., Vol. 6 (February 20, 1904), pp. 183, 184. 

47 Ibid., Vol. 6 (May 2, 1904), pp. 188-191; ibid., Vol. 6 (June 8, 1904), p. 199. 

48 Elmer Louis Kayser, The George Washington University 1821-1966 (Washing- 
ton, 1966), pp. 18, 19. 

55<f Bibliographical Comments; Notes 

49 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 6 (November 16, 1904), pp. 204-229. 

50 Ibid., Vol. 6 (November 16, 1904), p. 230. 

51 The George Washington University Bulletin, Convocation Number, Vol. 4, 
No. 1 (Part 1, March, 1905). 

M Stat. at Large, Vol. 33, Part 1, 58th Cong., 3d Sess., Chap. 1467, pp. 1036, 1037, 
approved March 3, 1903. 

83 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 6 (May 2, 1905), pp. 250-234. 

54 Ibid., Vol. 6 (November 22, 1905), pp. 268-271. 

55 Ibid., Vol. 6 (May 2, 1905), p. 250; ibid., Vol. 6 (May 23, 1905), p. 260. 

56 The George Washington University Bulletin, Alumni Number, Vol. 4, No. 2 
(June, 1905), p. 6. 

57 “Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, a Notable Year,” 
reprinted from the 1965-1966 Annual Report, pp. 3, 4. 

58 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 6 (May 26, 1906), p. 286. 

59 Ibid., Vol. 6 (November 14, 1906), pp. 297, 298. 

60 Ibid., Vol. 6 (November 14, 1906), p. 295. 

61 Ibid., Vol. 6 (November 14, 1906), pp. 296-299. 

62 Ibid., Vol. 6 (November 14, 1906), p. 301. 

63 Ibid., Vol. 6 (November 14, 1906), p. 298; ibid., Vol. 6 (January 16, 1907), p. 
305; ibid., Vol. 6 (February 16, 1907), pp. 312-313. 

64 Columbia Heights and The George Washington University of Washington 
D.C., The Columbia Heights Citizens’ Association, 1907. 

65 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 6 (April 29, 1907), p. 315; ibid., Vol. 6 
(January 8, 1908), p. 362. 

66 Ibid., Vol. 6 (June 2, 1906), p. 292; ibid., Vol. 6 (November 14, 1906), p. 300. 

67 Ibid., Vol. 6 (January 16, 1907), p. 306; ibid., Vol. 6 (February 16, 1907), p. 313; 
ibid., Vol. 6 (May 27, 1907), p. 319. 

63 Ibid., Vol. 6 (February 16, 1907), p. 310; ibid., Vol. 6 (May 27, 1907), p. 319. 

69 Ibid., Vol. 6 (January 8, 1908), pp. 339, 361. 

70 The George Washington University Bulletin, Alumni Number, Vol. 4, No. 2 
(June, 1905), pp. 19-20; ibid., Vol. 8, No. 4 (December, 1909), pp. 8, 11; Minutes of 
the Board of Trustees, Vol. 6 (May 7, 1908), pp. 284-285. 

71 The George Washington University Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 4 (December, 1909), 
pp. 9-12; ibid., Vol. 4, No. 2 (June 1905), pp. 21-24. 

72 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 6 (March 17, 1908), p. 372. 

73 Ibid., Vol. 6 (March 17, 1908), pp. 369-372; ibid., Vol. 6 (May 7, 1908), pp. 375- 
383; ibid., Vol. 6 (October 14, 1908), p. 413. 

74 Ibid., Vol. 6 (November 10, 1908), pp. 421-422; ibid., Vol. 6 (February 19, 1909), 
P- 437 - 

75 Ibid., Vol. 6 (March 8, 1909), pp. 440-445; ibid., Vol. 6 (April 5, 1909), p. 454; 
ibid., Vol. 6 (April 10, 1909), pp. 457-458. 

76 Ibid., Vol. 6 (April 17, 1909), pp. 459-461. 

77 Ibid., Vol. 6 (April 23, 1909), pp. 462-465; ibid., Vol. 6 (May 6, 1909), pp. 470 If. 

73 Ibid., Vol. 6 (June 4, 1909), pp. 483-485. 

79 Ibid., Vol. 6 (June 5, 1909), pp. 488-490. 

80 Ibid., Vol. 6 (June 5, 1909), pp. 490, 492, 497; ibid., Vol. 6 (June 9, 1909), p. 500. 

81 Ibid., Vol. 6 (October 13, 1909), pp. 510-513; The George Washington University 
Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 4 (December, 1909), pp. 7, 8. 

82 Ibid., pp. 8, 11, 12; Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 6 (January 12, 1910), 
P- 533 - 

Chapter Thirteen 557 

83 Ibid., Vol. 6 (March 14, 1910), pp. 544-558. 

8i lbid., Vol. 6 (April 27, 1910), pp. 574-575; ibid., Vol. 6 (May 2, 1910), p. 577; 
Stat. at Large, Vol. 6, Chap. 10, Sec. 10, pp. 255-258. 

85 Report of an Investigation of the Financial and Educational Affairs of The 
George Washington University, Transmitted to the House of Representatives by 
the Attorney General, June 2, 1910, and referred to the Committee on the District 
of Columbia (Washington, 1910). 

86 61st Cong., 3d Sess., H. Doc. 1060. 

87 Ibid., pp. 86-87. 

88 Ibid., p. 87. 

89 Ibid., pp. 169-170. 

90 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 6 (May 26, 1910), p. 590; ibid., Vol. 7 
(June 10, 1910), p. 19; ibid., Vol. 7 (June 15, 1910), pp. 25-28; ibid., Vol. 7 (June 
20, 1910), p. 33; ibid., Vol. 7 (June 27, 1910), p. 36; ibid., Vol. 7 (July 1, 1910), p. 40. 

Bibliographical Comments 

For the seventeen-year period following the misfortunes of 1910, the principal 
sources of information are the Minutes of the Board of Trustees-, the various 
issues of the University Btdletin; the student publications, the Hatchet and 
The Cherry Tree; the presidential correspondence in the Archives; and much 
ephemeral material, most of it of student origin. 


1 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 7 (January 11, 1911), pp. 84-90. 

2 Ibid., Vol. 7 (December 22, 1910), p. 74. 

3 Ibid., Vol. 7 (October 24, 1910), p. 62. 

i lbid., Vol. 7 (June 1, 1911), p. 118; ibid., Vol. 7 (June 16, 1911), p. 125; ibid., Vol. 
7 (October 11, 1911), pp. 128, 129; ibid., Vol. 7 (October 8, 1913), p. 245. 

5 Ibid., Vol. 7 (October 11, 1911), p. 130. 

6 Ibid., Vol. 7 (January 10, 1912), p. 147; ibid., Vol. 7 (May 31, 1911), p. 118; ibid., 
Vol. 7 (February 13, 1912), pp. 152, 153. 

7 Jessie Fant Evans, Hamburg, the Colonial Town That Became the Seat of The 
George Washington University (Washington, 1935), pp. 1-5. 

8 Wilhelmus Bogart Bryan, A History of the National Capital (New York, 1916), 
Vol. 1, pp. 468-469; ibid., Vol. 2, pp. 286-289. 

9 For details on the neighborhood, see Evans, op. cit. 

This reconstruction of Square 102 is from memory, aided by the city directories 
of the time. 

10 Elmer Louis Kayser, “2023 G Street,” The George Washington Alumni Review, 
Summer, 1962, pp. 19-24; Elmer Louis Kayser, “Professors Everybody Knew,” GW: 
The George Washington University Magazine, Spring, 1967, pp. 30-34. 

338 Bibliographical Comments; Notes 

11 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 7 (January 8, 1913), p. 209. 

12 Ibid., Vol. 7 (June 3, 1914), p. 278. 

13 Ibid., Vol. 7 (October 10, 1917), p. 449. 

14 Ibid., Vol. 7 (February 19, 1917), p. 425; ibid., Vol. 7 (January 9, 1918), p. 463. 

15 Ibid., Vol. 7 (October 13, 1915), p. 346; ibid., Vol. 7 (February 18, 1916), p. 354. 

16 Ibid., Vol. 7 (April 30, 1918), p. 483. 

17 Ibid., Vol. 7 (May j, 1914), pp. 272-276; ibid., Vol. 7 (June 3, 1914), p. 278. 

18 Ibid., Vol. 7 (February 18, 1916), pp. 356, 357. 

19 Ibid., Vol. 7 (October 11, 1916), p. 393. 

20 The members of the first Student Council were: Chairman, Rhesa M. Norris 
(Law); Secretary-Treasurer, Elmer L. Kayser (T.C.); Martha McGrew (C.C.); 
Theodosia D. Seibold (C.C.); John S. Bixler (C.C.); Z. Alvin Briggs (Eng.); Bertram 
Groesbeck (Med.); John H. Lyons (Med.); M. Q. Cannon (Dent.); Leon Frost 
(Dent.); William H. Stayton, Jr. (Law); P. M. Johnson (Phar.); James Patterson 

21 Elson L. Whitney, The American Peace Society: A Centennial History (Washing- 
ton, 1929), pp. 17-23. 

22 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 7 (October 14, 1914), p. 305. 

23 Ibid., Vol. 7 (June 2, 1915), p. 323. 

24 Ibid., Vol. 7 (June 2, 1915), p. 328. 

25 The District of Columbia Coast Artillery, National Guard 1919-1919 (The Col- 
legiate Press, Menasha, Wisconsin, 1921), pp. 5-38. 

26 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 7 (May 29, 1918), pp. 500-508. 

27 Ibid., Vol. 7 (December 4, 1917), p. 460; Ibid., Vol. 7 (January 9, 1918), p. 461; 
ibid., Vol. 7 (April 5, 1918), p. 476; ibid., Vol. 7 (April 30, 1918), p. 479; ibid., Vol. 
7 (May 29, 1918), p. 494. 

28 For a complete roster of officers and men, see The George Washington Univer- 
sity Bulletin, Vol. 18, No. 2 (June, 1919), pp. 306-318. 

29 Elmer Louis Kayser, ‘World War I at the University,” GW: The George 
Washington University Magazine, Fall, 1964, pp. 28-31. 

30 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 7 (October 9, 1918), p. 511; ibid., Vol. 7 
(February 15, 1919), p. 529. 

31 Ibid., Vol. 7 (February 15, 1919), p. 532; ibid., Vol. 8 (January 20, 1920), p. 2. 

32 Ibid., Vol. 8 (March 19, 1920), p. 11; ibid., Vol. 8 (April 3, 1920), pp. 18-20. 

33 Ibid., Vol. 8 (April 17, 1920), p. 25; ibid., Vol. 8 (May 26, 1920), p. 33; ibid., Vol. 8 
(November 10, 1920), p. 62; ibid., Vol. 8 (January 12, 1921), pp. 66, 69, 70. 

34 Ibid., Vol. 8 (April 17, 1920), p. 25. 

35 Ibid., Vol. 8 (February 12, 1921), p. 74; ibid., Vol. 8 (October 18, 1922), p. 160; 
ibid., Vol. 8 (April 9, 1924), p. 261; ibid., Vol. 8 (April 29, 1924), pp. 265-268. 

36 Ibid., Vol. 8 (April 3, 1920), pp. 23-24; ibid., Vol. 8 (May 26, 1920), pp. 30, 31. 

37 Ibid., Vol. 8 (April 3, 1920), pp. 21-23. 

33 Ibid., Vol. 7 (January 8, 1919), pp. 526, 527. 

39 The George Washington University Bulletin, Vol. 18, No. 5 (December, 1919), 
pp. 1-7; ibid., Vol. 20, No. 1 (March, 1921), pp. 1-72. 

40 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 8 (October 12, 1921), pp. 113-115. 

41 Ibid., Vol. 8 (October 12, 1921), pp. 116-117; ibid., Vol. 8 (February 13, 1922), p. 
130; ibid., Vol. 8 (May 31, 1922), p. 133; ibid., Vol. 8 (May 31, 1923), p. 187. 

42 Ibid., Vol. 8 (January n, 1923), p. 173. 

43 Ibid., Vol. 8 (May 25, 1921), p. 88; ibid., Vol. 8 (October 12, 1921), p. 122; ibid., 
Vol. 8 (January n, 1923), p. 170. 

Chapter Fourteen 339 

44 Ibid., Vol. 8 (May 31, 1922), p. 136; ibid., Vol. 8 (December 12, 1922), p. 169; 
ibid., Vol. 8 (January n, 1923), pp. 170-171; ibid., Vol. 8 (January 29, 1923), p. 
177; ibid., Vol. 8 (October 10, 1923), p. 218. 

**lbid., Vol. 8 (January 11, 1923), pp. 173-175. 

46 Frederick Rudolph, The American College and University (New York, 1962), p. 
344 - 

47 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 8 (January 16, 1924), p. 246; ibid., Vol. 
8 (March 12, 1924), p. 257; ibid., Vol. 8 (April 9, 1924), p. 260; ibid., Vol. 8 (October 
8, 1924), pp. 288-289. 

48 Ibid., Vol. 8 (May 24, 1924), p. 271; ibid., Vol. 8 (November 12, 1924), pp. 295, 
297; ibid., Vol. 8 (December 10, 1924), p. 298; Elmer Louis Kayser, Luther Rice, 
Founder of Columbian College (Washington, 1966), p. 11; Elmer Louis Kayser, 
“Homes of the Law School,” QW: The George Washington University Magazine, 
Fall, 1965, pp. 24-25. 

49 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 8 (October 27, 1926), p. 382; ibid., Vol. 
8 (January 19, 1927), pp. 391-394; ibid., Vol. 8 (December 26, 1929), p. 529. 

50 Ibid., Vol. 8 (May 18, 1927), p. 416. 

51 Ibid ^ Vol. 8 (December 8, 1926), pp. 386-387; ibid., Vol. 8 (May 9, 1927), pp. 

52 Ibid ., Vol. 8 (June 4, 1924), pp. 273-274. 

58 GWU Handbook, 1921-1922, p. 10. 

54 Letter of Mrs. Charles P. Trussell to Elmer L. Kayser, July 30, 1968. 

55 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 8 (June 1, 1927), p. 419; ibid., Vol. 8 (June 
6, 1927), p. 420; ibid., Vol. 8 (June 13, 1927), p. 422; ibid., Vol. 8 (July 7, 1927), p. 424. 

Bibliographical Comments 

For the Marvin period material will be found in the Minutes of the Board of 
Trustees; the University Bulletin; Confidential from Washington, published 
by the University during the war years; the University student newspaper, the 
Hatchet; George Washington University, Self-Evaluation of the University 
1934, an elaborate, multi-volume report on the University prepared for the As- 
sociation of Colleges and Secondary Schools of the Middle States and Mary- 
land; presidential letters in the Archives; and a great mass of informal publica- 
tions, much of them critical of the administration. 


1 Self-Evaluation Study of the University, The George Washington University 
(Washington, 1954), Introduction, pp. 24, 25. 

2 Ibid., pp. 27-32. 

8 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 8 (October 12, 1927), p. 436. 

4 Daniel L. Borden, “William Cline Borden 1858-1934,” Medical Annals of the Dis- 
trict of Columbia , Vol. 5 (September and October, 1936), pp. 1-15. 

3^0 Bibliographical Comments; Notes 

5 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 8 (October ii, 1930), p. 385. 

6 Ibid., Vol. 9 (December 10, 1931), p. 24. 

7 Ibid., Vol. 8 (November 14, 1927), pp. 444-445. 

8 The Charter and Acts Supplementary Thereto and the By-Laws of the Board of 
Trustees of The George Washington University (Washington, D.C., n.d.), pp. 29-41. 

9 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 8 (December 3, 1923), p. 244; ibid., Vol. 8 
(January 16, 1924), p. 245; ibid., Vol. 8 (June 7, 1929), p. 521; The George Washing- 
ton University Bulletin, March, 1917, p. 22. 

10 Ibid., pp. 25-27; Self-Evaluation Study of the University, Sec. 2, pp. 47, 73-79. 

11 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 8 (June 4, 1930), p. 566. 

12 Ibid., Vol. 8 (October 9, 1930), p. 577. 

13 J. Ramsay MacDonald, American Speeches (Boston, 1930), pp. 36-39. 

14 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 8 (December 11, 1930), p. 586. 

15 Elmer Louis Kayser, Luther Rice, Founder of Columbian College (Washington, 
1966), p. 11. 

16 The Kraftsman (Washington), Vol. 6, No. 4 (October, 1925), p. 6. 

17 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 8 (December 22, 1927), p. 448; ibid., Vol. 
8 (December 28, 1927), p. 450. 

18 Memo, Max Farrington to Elmer Louis Kayser, September 10, 1968. 

19 Minutes of the Board of Trustees , Vol. 8 (October 4, 1928), p. 483. 

20 Ibid., Vol. 8 (March 27, 1929), p. 499; ibid., Vol. 9 (October 8, 1931), pp. 17, 20; 
ibid., Vol. 9 (December 10, 1931), p. 38; ibid., Vol. 9 (December 10, 1931), p. 25. 

21 Ibid., Vol. 8 (December 26, 1929), pp. 533, 540. 

22 Ibid., Vol. 9 (February 9, 1933), pp. 68, 69, 73 

23 Ibid., Vol. 9 (December 14, 1933), p. 119. 

24 Ibid., Vol. 9 (October 11, 1934), pp. 153-154. 

25 Ibid., Vol. 9 (October 11, 1934), p. 154. 

26 Ibid., Vol. 9 (December 6, 1934), p. 157; ibid., Vol. 9 (December 12, 1934), p. 162. 

27 Ibid., Vol. 9 (July 16, 1937), p. 317. 

28 Cloyd Heck Marvin to Henry Phelps Gage, December 22, 1955. 

29 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 9 (October 20, 1937), p. 236. 

30 Ibid., Vol. 9 (June 3, 1937), p. 282. 

31 Ibid., Vol. 8 (March 26, 1930), p. 555. 

32 Ibid., Vol. 9 (February 14, 1935), pp. 172, 173; ibid., Vol. 9 (March 11, 1937), p. 
273; ibid., Vol. 9 (February 10, 1938), p. 362; ibid., Vol. 9 (March 11, 1937), p. 271. 

33 John A. Fleming to John C. Merriam, May 10, 1935. 

34 John A. Fleming, “The Fifth Washington Conference of Theoretical Physics,” 
Science, Vol. 89, No. 2304 (February 24, 1939), pp. 180-182. 

35 George Gamow, “The Great Dane,” New York Times Book Review, October 
23, 1966, p. 6. © 1966 by The New York Times Company. Reprinted by permission 
of the New York Times and the estate of George Gamow. 

36 Ralph E. Lapp, “The Einstein Letter That Started It All,” New York Times 
Magazine, August 2, 1964, pp. 13 ff. 

37 The Lash (Washington, D.C.), Vol. 1, No. 3 (February 2, 1926), p. 2. 

38 Ibid., p. 4. 

39 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 9 (October 13, 1932), p. 57; The George 
Washington Union (Washington, D.C.), 1936, p. 2; Thomas F. Neblett to Cloyd 
Heck Marvin, October 23, 1935; Cloyd Heck Marvin to Thomas F. Neblett, Novem- 
ber 2, 1935. 

40 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 9 (June 4, 1936), p. 236. 

Chapter Fourteen 341 

41 Everett H. Bellows to Cloyd Heck Marvin, November 30, 1937. 

42 Charles J. Hendley to Cloyd Heck Marvin, April 6, 1936. 

43 Cloyd Heck Marvin to Charles J. Hendley, April 17, 1936. 

44 Statement of Cloyd Heck Marvin, December 12, 1934. 

45 Evening Star, November 8, 1935. 

46 University Hatchet, April 7, 1936, p. 2. 

47 Washington Post, April 21, 1937, p. 11. 

48 Helen Morton to the president, no date. 

49 Washington Daily News, March 13, 1940; ibid., June 12, 1940, p. 18. 

50 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 9 (March 14, 1940), pp. 571-J72, 588-592. 

51 Ibid., Vol. 10 (February 18, 1942), pp. 68-82. 

52 Confidential from Washington, No. 26 (April, 1945). 

53 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 10 (December 10, 1942), p. 115. 

54 Ibid., Vol. 10 (February 10, 1944), p. 167; ibid., Vol. 10 (March 9, 1944), p. 169; 
ibid., Vol. 10 (April 25, 1944), p. 175. 

55 Confidential from Washington, No. 26 (April, 1945), p. 3. 

56 Vannevar Bush to Cloyd Heck Marvin, April 14, 1946, in Minutes of the Board of 
Trustees, Vol. 10 (May 23, 1946), p. 301. 

57 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 10 (May 24, 1945), p. 230. 

58 Ibid., Vol. 10 (December 14, 1944), pp. 195, 196. 

59 Ibid., Vol. 10 (April 24, 1944), pp. 176-179. 

60 Ibid., Vol. 10 (May 25, 1944), pp. 176-179; ibid., Vol. 10 (December 14, 1944), 
pp. 195 If., 209; ibid., Vol. 10 (February 10, 1949), pp. 471-474. 

61 Ibid., Vol. 10 (July 30, 1946), p. 304; The Golden Book of the George Washing- 
ton University Hospital (Washington), March, 1949; U. S. Grant III, “The New 
Hospital,” The George Washington University Alumni Review, Fall, 1946, pp. 1, 3. 

62 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 10 (December 12, 1946), p. 326. 

63 Ibid., Vol. 10 (November 12, 1941), p. 73. 

64 Ibid., Vol. 11 (March 22, 1956), p. 491; ibid., Vol. 12 (December 13, 1956), p. 16. 

65 Ibid., Vol. 10 (December 9, 1948), p. 465; ibid., Vol. n (March 8, 1951), p. 138; 

ibid., Vol. 11 (October 13, 1955), pp. 445-448; ibid., Vol. 11 (December 1, 1955), p. 
454; ibid., Vol. 12 (December 13, 1956), p. 2. 

66 Ibid., Vol. 10 (July 30, 1945), p. 34; ibid., Vol. 12 (March 14, 1957), p. 47. 

67 Ibid., Vol. 12 (October 9, 1958), p. 163. 

68 Ibid., Vol. 10 (October 9, 1947), p. 384. 

69 Ibid., Vol. 10 (February 14, 1946), p. 267; ibid., Vol. 10 (August 13, 1946), p. 307. 

70 Ibid., Vol. 11 (October 13, 1949), p. 37. 

71 lbid., Vol. 10 (March 10, 1949), p. 485; ibid., Vol. 11 (October 12, 1950), p. in. 

72 Ibid., Vol. 11 (October 13, 1949), p. 30; ibid., Vol. n (May 18, 1950), p. 72; ibid., 

Vol. 11 (December 11, 1952), p. 243. 

73 Ibid., Vol. 11 (May 18, 1950), p. 72. 

74 Ibid., Vol. 11 (June 30, 1954), p. 242. 

75 Ibid., Vol. 11 (February 14, 1951), p. 203. 

76 Ibid., Vol. 11 (October 9, 1952), p. 241. 

77 Annual Report of the Dean for Sponsored Research, 1957, p. 2; ibid., 1959, p. 2; 
The George Washington University Bulletin, Vol. 67, No. 9 (March, 1968), pp. 163- 
169; University Hatchet, Vol. 65, No. 44 (April 10, 1969). 

78 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. n (October 9, 1952), p. 240. 

79 Ibid., Vol. 11 (December n, 1952), p. 247. 

80 Ibid., Vol. 12 (July 1, 1957), p. 90. 

Bibliographical Comments; Notes 


81 Ibid., Vol. 11 (February 12, 1953), p. 260. 

82 Ibid., Vol. 11 (March 31, 1933), pp. 412-414; ibid., Vol. n (May 19, 1933), pp. 

Bibliographical Comments 

For the years since 1959, the Trustees’ Minutes are still the indispensable guide. 
GW, the University’s quarterly magazine; the Hatchet; the Washington 
newspapers; and the presidential letters in the Archives are important. A con- 
siderable number of printed and mimeographed student pamphlets and broad- 
sides in the University’s collection deal with such matters as the Gibbon Case, 
the pacifism of the 1930’s, Vietnam, student participation in University govern- 
ance and decision making. 


1 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 12 (October 8, 1939), p. 283. 

2 Ibid., Vol. 12 (May 12, i960), pp. 347-330. 

3 Ibid., Vol. 12 (October 13, i960), p. 372. 

4 Ibid., Vol. 12 (May 12, i960), pp. 347, 334-338. 

5 Ibid., Vol. 12 (October 13, i960), p. 374. 

6 Ibid., Vol. 12 (December 12, 1959), pp. 291-292. 

7 Ibid., Vol. 12 (October 13, i960), p. 262. 

8 Ibid., Vol. 12 (May 11, 1961), p. 413. 

9 Ibid., Vol. 12 (December 12, 1939), pp. 293-297; ibid., Vol. 12 (February 11, 
i960), p. 308; ibid., Vol. 12 (May 1 1, 1961), p. 416. 

10 Ibid., Vol. 12 (May 11, 1961), p. 414; ibid., Vol. 12 (March 15, 1962), p. 487. 

11 Ibid., Vol. 12 (October 13, i960), p. 361; ibid., Vol. 12 (December 8, i960), p. 379. 

12 Ibid., Vol. 12 (December 12, 1961), p. 460. 

13 Ibid., Vol. 12 (October 13, i960), p. 360. 

14 Ibid ., Vol. 12 (February 8, 1962), p. 484. 

15 Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, A.B. 1931, George Washington University. 

16 The George Washington University Alumni Review, President’s Issue, Summer, 
1961, pp. 16-18; Elmer Louis Keyser, “The Presidents and the University,” GW: The 
George Washington University Magazine, Spring, 1964, pp. 14-16. 

17 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 13 (May 9, 1963), p. 44. 

18 Ibid., p. 99. 

19 Ibid., Vol. 13 (October 17, 1963), pp. 123, 126. 

20 Elmer D. West, “The Joint Graduate Consortium,” Journal of Higher Educa- 
tion, Vol. 36, No. 7 (October 1963), pp. 366-372; Articles of Incorporation of 
Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, December, 1967; 
“Charter for the Establishment of Procedure for the Coordination of Graduate Study 
and Research Among the Five Universities of the District of Columbia,” NCEA 
Bulletin, February, 1964. 

Chapter Fifteen 343 

21 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 13 (October 17, 1963), p. 127; ibid., Vol. 
13 (March 19, 1964), p. 173. 

22 GW: The George Washington University Magazine, Spring, 1964, inside back 

23 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 13 (June 6, 1964), pp. 220 ff. 

2i lbid., Vol. 13 (July 29, 1964), pp. 234-236. 

25 Ibid., Vol. 13 (October 15, 1964), pp. 238-239. 

26 Ibid., Vol. 13 (March 18, 1963), p. 304. 

27 Ibid., Vol. 13 (January 22, 1963), p. 236. 

2S Ibid., Vol. 13 (June 3, 1963), p. 342; ibid., Vol. 13 (January 22, 1963), p. 237. 

29 Ibid., Vol. 13 (June 3, 1965), p. 344; “Faculty Revolt,” New York Times, June 
13, 1963, p. E8; “Unrest Stirs G.W. as Hoard Meets,” Washington Post, June 3, 1963, 
p. B 1; “Synthetic Crisis at G.W.U.,” ibid., June 9, 1965; “Faculty Furor,” Evening 
Star, June 10, 1963, p. A 12; Minutes of a Special Committee of the Faculty Assembly 
on June 7, 1963, with supplemental statement. 

30 Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Vol. 13 (October 13, 1963), p. 364. 

31 Ibid., Vol. 13 (October 13, 1965), p. 3 66. 

32 Annual Report of the President, The George Washington University, October, 
1968, p. 13. 

33 Ibid., October, 1967, p. 19. 

Presidents of the University 







1894- 1895 

1895- 1900 
192 1— 1 92 3 

I 9 2 3 -I 9 2 7 

I 9 2 7 -I 959 

i 95 9 -i 9 6 i 


1964- 1965 


William Staughton 

Stephen Chapin 

Joel Smith Bacon 

Joseph Getchell Binney 

George Whitefield Samson 

James Clarke Welling 

Samuel Harrison Greene, Acting 

Benaiah L. Whitman 

Samuel Harrison Greene, Acting 

Charles Willis Needham 

Charles Herbert Stockton 

William Miller Collier 

Howard L. Hodgkins, ad interim 

William Mather Lewis 

Cloyd Heck Marvin 

Oswald Symister Colclough, Acting 

Thomas Henry Carroll 

Oswald Symister Colclough, Acting 

Lloyd Hartman Elliott 



Abbe, Cleveland, iji, 181 
Activity fee, 223-224 
Adams, Arthur Stanton, 302 
Adams, Charles Francis, 89 
Adams, Henry, 218 
Adams, John, 49 

Adams, John Quincy, 28, 87-89, 160 
Adler, Cyrus, 154 
Aims, educational, 12-15 
Albert I, King of the Belgians, 236 
Alumni Association, 95, 199, 203, 287, 
299, 300 

American Association of University 
Professors, 303 

American Association of University 
Women, 256 

American Baptist Education Society, 
170, 171, 173 

American Board of Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions, 16-19 
American Council on Education, 256 
American University, 232, 305 
Architecture, Department of, 192 
Arnold, Henry J., 99-101 
Ash, Percy, 191 

Association of American Universities, 

Athletics, 199, 206, 214, 216, 223, 241, 
246-248, 261, 262, 278, 279, 287-288, 
3 ° 4 . 3°5 

Attorney General’s Report, 8, 207-209, 
215, 282 

Atwell, Ruth Harriet, 288 

Babcock, Rufus, 39, 112 
Bacon, George Samuel, 93 
Bacon, Joel Smith, 93, 99-101, 108-109, 

Bampton, Rose E., 292 
Baptist Convention for Missionary Pur- 
poses, see Baptist Denomination 
Baptist Denomination in the United 
States for Foreign Missions, General 
Convention of, constitution and ob- 
jectives, 20-24 

relations with college, 24-32, 35-36, 
56-66, 78-79, 82-84 
Barbour, James, 33, 58, 68 
Barnes, Daniel H., 79 

Bemis, Samuel Flagg, 245 
Bergman, Ingrid, 285 
Biddle, Mary D., 160, 163 
Binney, Joseph Getchell, 6, 101, 102, 109 
Bloedorn, Walter Andrew, 262 
Bohr, Niels, 269-270 
Bolles, John A., 143 
Bomford, George, 74 
Booth, John Wilkes, 125-126 
Borden, William Cline, 203, 222, 231, 
253 . *77 

Brackenridge, Thomas S., 95 
Bradley, Louis Francis, 244 
Brandenburg, Edwin Charles, 205 
Brewer, David J., 152, 176, 181, 193 
Broaddus, William F., 86, 168 
Brooke, Matthew Walker, 112 
Brooks, Kendall, 112 
Brown, Elizabeth Preston, 167 
Brown, John Anthony, 304 
Brown, Nicholas, 88 
Brown, Obadiah Bruen, 21, 24-25, 28- 
*9, 34. 35-36, 54, 60, 70-72, 74-76 
Brown University, 72, 79 
Browning, Orville Hickman, 121 
Buckingham, David Eastbum, 200 
Bulfinch, Stephen G., m-112 
Bundy, McGeorge, 301 
Burleson, Rufus C., no 
Burns, Arthur Edward, 259 
Bums, Jacob, 305 
Burns, Walter W., 225 
Bush, Vannevar, 282 
Butterworth, Joseph, 46 

Calhoun, John C., 54 
Cannon, Joseph, 245 
Carnegie, Andrew, 200 
Carnegie Endowment for International 
Peace, 290 

Carnegie Foundation for the Advance- 
ment of Teaching, 194-195, 204-205, 

Carnegie Institution of Washington, 268- 

Carpenter, B. O., 163 
Carroll, Mitchell, 195-197, 202 
Carroll, Thomas Henry, 297, 300-304 
Carroll, William Thomas, 49 




Carter, Maria M., 143-144, 165 
Carver, James M., 122 
Caswell, Alexis, 72-73, 112 
Cathcart, Ellen W., j 66 
Chapin, Stephen, 74, 79, 80, 84, 87-89, 
90, 91, 92, 93 

Charter, 2, 29, 30, 32, 33, 35 
provisions, 32, 33, 36, 37, 65, 113, 114 
amendments, 141, 142, 143, 178, 188, 
190, 191 

Chase, Irah, 24, 26, 27-28, 38, 39, 44, 46, 

50-51. «* 

Clampitt, John Wesley, 125 
Clarke, Frank Wigglesworth, 154 
Clay, Henry, 33 
Clubs, 247 
Cobb, Richard, 277 
Cocke, Charles L., 112 
Coeducation, 142-143, ijo, 165-167, 2iy 
Colby College, 80, 101, 173 
Colclough, Oswald S., 293, 294, 297, 298, 
299, 300, 304, 305 
Cole, Arthur Charles, 108 
Colgate University, 92-93 
College Housing Loan Program, 299-300 
College Housing Program, 286, 287, 299 
College of Political Sciences, 198, 220 
College of Veterinary Medicine, 200, 

232 . . 

Collier, William Miller, 227, 228-230, 

Columbian Academy, see Preparatory 

Columbian College, College Hill, 39, 40 
first faculty, 39, 44 
academic requirements, 41, 42 
fees, 42, 90, 222 
rules of conduct, 42, 44 
books and apparatus, 46, 47 
financial difficulties, 72-74, 90 
increase in southern students, 104, ioj, 

first forty years, 111, 112 
government employees in courses, 
129, 184 

scientific course, 149 
decreasing enrollment, 157, 158 
poor condition of plant, 158 
Midtown location, 161, 163 
organization by departments, 185-186 
incorporation, 190-191 
radical faculty cuts, 202, 203 
resumption of old name, 222 
redistribution of work, 255, 299 
Columbian Women, 257 
Comfort, William Wistar, 241 

Commission on Higher Education of the 
Middle States, 240, 246, 293-294 
Comparative Jurisprudence and Diplo- 
macy, School of, 152, 153, 175, 176, 

Cone, Spencer Houghton, 28 
Congress of the United States, 32, 33, 
65, 267 

release of liability for $30,000, 78, 85 
grants of city lots, 85 
transfer of Infirmary, 115-116, 119, 123 
authorization of use of libraries and 
collections, 17 1 

failure to pass Gallinger-Boutell 
Amendment, 201, 206 
Attorney General’s Report, 207-209 
Connally, Louise, 167 
Consortium, 302-303 

Convocations, 236-237, 241-242, 256, 292 
Coolidge, President and Mrs. Calvin, 
256, 292 

Cooper, Eleanor J., 215 
Coordinator of Scientific Activities, 290 
Corcoran, James, 74 
Corcoran Scientific School, 147-151, 153, 
166-167, 174-175, 184-185 
Corcoran, Thomas, 144 
Corcoran, William Wilson, 1 24-1 25, 129- 
130, 141, 145-147, 151, 160, 169, 171 
Cowles, John Henry, 260 
Cranch, Christopher Pearse, 115 
Cranch, Edward Pope, 112-113 
Cranch, John, 1x2 
Cranch, William, 49-50, 112 
Crane, William Carey, 112 
Crawford, William Harris, 28 
Croissant, DeWitt C., 259, 270 
Crum, Harry Watson, 237, 278 
Cushman, Elisha, 227, 228 
Cushman, Robert W., in, 125 

Daniels, Josephus, 229 
Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de 
Paul, 115 

Davis, Harry Casell, 295 
Davis, Henry E., 153 
Davis, Isaac, 94-95 
Davis, Stephen, 105 
DeAngelis, Vincent James, 288 
Debating societies, 198-199 
DeCaindry, William E., 179 
deMartino, Giacomo, 256 
Dental School, 177, 222, 231, 237 
deSchweinitz, Emil Alexander, 177 
Dimock, Susan, 266 
Dimock, Susan Whitney, 202, 267 



District of Columbia, i, 29, 51-52, 65, 
93, 115-116, 134-135. 2I(S > 218-219 
educational advantages, 4-5, 148, 171 
growth, 6-7, 27, 97, 117-118, 127-128, 
161-162, 310 

Division of Extension, 258, 288 
Division of Special Students, 258 
Division of University and Extension 
Students, 257-258 

Division of University Students, 257-258 
Downey, Alice Winans, 198 
Doyle, Henry Grattan, 257 
Dreese, Mitchell, 287 
Dunn, Mr. and Mrs. William M., 163- 

duVigneaud, Vincent, 268 

Education, School of, 251 

See also Teachers College 
Edwards, James L., 253 
Einstein, Albert, 270 
Elgar, Joseph, 8j 
Eliot, Charles William, 189 
Eliot, Thomas Dawes, 53, 112 
Elliot, William Greenleaf, 49, 112 
Elliott, Lloyd Hartman, 306-311 
Ellis, Harriet Stratton, 198 
Ellison, Newell Windom, 300, 305 
Elton, Romeo, 143 

Engineering, School of, 211, 244, 251 
Enosinian Society, 54-55 
Erwin, Henry Parsons, 295 
Evans, Jessie Fant, 256 
Ewell, Alexander, 53 

Faculty, 44, 58-59, 200-203, 251, 305 
Academic Senate, 308 
Carnegie pension program, 194-195, 
204, 205 

faculty code, 303 
Fifth Amendment case, 299 
organization plan, 298 
part-time instructors, 150, 245 
retirement policy, 244, 268, 287 
salaries, 45, 75, 92, 94, 113, 141, 156, 
185-186, 215, 263 
war activities, 280-282 
Fairfax, Albert, 53 
Farrand, Livingston, 241 
Farrington, C. Max, 287 
Federal Education Relief Organization, 

Federal Housing and Home Financing 
Agency, 302 

Federal Works Agency, 284 
Fermi, Enrico, 269-270 

Ferson, Merton Leroy, 227, 244 
Fifth Amendment Case, 299 
Fine Arts, Division of, 254 
Fleming, Robert Vedder, 283, 294-297 
Foggy Bottom, 216-217 
Foster, John Watson, 176, 181 
Fox, Robert C., 179 
Fraser, Everett, 223-224, 227, 246 
Freer, Robert Elliott, 280 
Frish, Otto, 270 

Fristoe, Edward T., 133, 151, 152, 153, 

Funk, Jacob, 217 

Furman, Richard, 21, 22-23, 6° 

Gage, Lyman Judson, 176 
Gallaudet, Edward Minor, 202, 204 
Gallinger-Boutell Amendments, 193, 201, 

Galusha, Elon, 66-67, 7° 

Gamow, George, 268-270 
Garnett, Alexander Y. P., 125 
Gavin, James M., 191 
General Studies, College of, 289 
George Washington Memorial Associa- 
tion, 189-191, 202, 21 1, 266-267 
George Washington University Move- 
ment, 195, 196 

George Washington University Urban 
Renewal Project, 286 
Gibbon, Martha, 275-277 
Gill, Theodore Nicholas, 151 
Gillett, A. D., 136-137 
Glasscock, Mary, 231 
Glee Clubs, 279 

Glover, Charles Carroll, Jr., 295 
Glover, Charles Carroll, Sr., 197 
Going, Jonathan, 67 
Gore, James Howard, 153, 202, 204, 227 
Government and Business Administra- 
tion, School of, 302 

Government, Business, and International 
Affairs, School of, 302 
Government, School of, 258-261, 302 
Graduate Council, 255, 299 

See also Graduate Studies, School of 
Graduate Studies, School of, 153, 154, 
2 55 

Grant, Ulysses Simpson, 146 
Grant, Ulysses Simpson, III, 284, 286 
Greely, Adolphus Washington, 154 
Greek letter societies, 220, 272 
Greene, Samuel Harrison, 173, 182-183 
Gregory, Charles Noble, 2 1 5 
Griggs, Robert Fiske, 245 
Gwaltney, Luther R., 112 



Hahn, Otto, 269 
Hall, Asaph, 154 
Hall, Gordon, 16-19 
Hamburg, 217 

Hamilton Theological and Literary In- 
stitute, see Colgate University 
Hammitt, Joseph, 123, 139 
Harber, Giles B., 230 
Harlan, John Marshall, 152, 167, 181 
Harlan, Richard D., 197, 208 
Harmon, Dr. and Mrs. Robert H., 279 
Harper, William Rainey, 178 
Harris, Albert L., 239 
Harris, William Alexander, 112 
Haynes, William Preston, 279 
Hays, L. Brooks, 236 
Heath, William, 72 
Henning, George Neely, 174, 244 
Henry, Joseph, 124, 128, 130, 146 
Herrick, Samuel, 241 
Herzog, Henry W., 283, 286, 293, 302 
High Twelve International, 261 
Hinds, Clara Bliss, 166-167 
Hodgkins, Howard Lincoln, 226, 238-241 
Hodgkins, Howard Wilkinson, 226 
Holmes, Charles Wendell, 179, 228 
Honor societies, 246, 256, 268, 279, 292 
Hoover, Herbert Clark, 236, 250 
Hopkins, Mrs. Archibald, 289 
Horsey, Outerbridge, 30 
Hospital, iij, 116, 176, 177, 186, 187, 202, 
230, 231, 280, 281, 298, 300 
Washington Infirmary, iij 
Sisters of Charity, iij 
a military hospital, 1 15 
destruction by fire, 116 
use of former Prep building, 176 
new hospital, 177, 186-187, 202 > 2 3o-23i 
new hospital at Washington Circle, 
284, 285 

Medical Center, 298 
Eugene Meyer Pavilion, 262, 300 
Hough, Williston Samuel, 202, 220 
Houston, Samuel, no 
Hoyt, John Wesley, 189-190 
Hull, Cordell, 292 

Human Resources Research Office, 291 
Huntington, Adoniram Judson, 112, 132, 
133, 134, 142, 180, 1 83 

Ibanez, Vincente Blasco, 236 
Interfratemity Council, 247, 272, 304 

James, Edmund Janes, 201, 206 
Jennings, Hennen, 203 

Jewett, Daniel Tarbox, 112 
Johnson, Richard M., 30, 33 
Judson, Adoniram, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22 
Junior College, 255, 299 
Jusserand, Jean Jules, 244 

Kahn, Otto, 236 
Kalusowski, Henry E., 224 
Kayser, Elmer Louis, 227, 244, 257, 287 
Kendall, Amos, no, 130, 132, 141, 168, 
2 53 

Kennedy, John C., 13 1 
Kennedy, John Fitzgerald, 300-301 
Kerr, Clark, 301 
Kerr, John, 68 
Keyser, Nelson B., 207 
Kindler, Hans, 279, 282 
King, William Bruce, 237 
King-Smith, August, 279 
Knowles, James D., 33, in 
Koehl, George Martin, 299 
Kramer, Robert, 299 
Krupa, Joseph Henry, 288 

Lafayette, Marquis de, 51-54 
Lapham, John Raymond, 244 
Lamer, John B., 202, 214, 241, 242, 253 
Latimer, R. W., 28 
Latrobe, Benjamin Henry, 188 
Laurie, James, 52-53, 74 
Laurier, Sir Wilfred, 176 
Law and Jurisprudence, Department of, 
see Comparative Jurisprudence and 
Diplomacy, School of 
Law School, 150, 166-167, Ub 2I 5> 2I 9 
first two years, 49-50 
reopening, 124, 128, 131 
Patent Law Foundation, 289 
National University merger, 290 
National Law Center, 299 
Lawson, Alfred Henry, 295, 302 
League of Masonic Clubs, 259-260 
Leemans, Alphonse Emile (“Tuffy”), 

Levering, Eugene, 204 
Lewis, Lawrence, 13-14 
Lewis, William Mather, 241-248 
Library, 44, 72-73 

solicitation and purchase of books, 
2 8, 46, 75 

quarters in College Building, 35 
condition of library, 94, 95, 158 
room in new University building, 164 
law library in new law building, 176 
Lisner Library, 2 66 



Library ( cont’d ) 

Carnegie Endowment Washington Li- 
brary, 290 

Jacob Bums Law Library, 305 
Library Science, Division of, 251 
Lincoln, Abraham, 12 1 
Lincoln, Mary Todd, 120 
Lindsley, Harvey, 112 
Lisner, Abram, 231, 266 
Lisner Auditorium, 264, 267, 284-285 
Lockwood, Belva, 165 
Logistics Research Project, 290 
Lorenzen, Ernest G., 215 
Ludlow, Henry H., 230 
Lynd, S. W., 61 

McBain, Howard Lee, 198, 209 
McCormack, John W., 300 
MacDonald, Ramsay, 256, 292 
Macfarland, Henry B. F., 196, 214 
McKee, John Keown, 302 
McKinley, Earl Baldwin, 262 
McLaughlin, Robert E., 298 
McLean, John, 68 
McNemar, Leslie Cleveland, 223 
Mann, Charles Ribor, 256 
Manning, William Ray, 198 
Marlowe, Julia, 236 
Martin, Robert H., 179, 208 
Marvin, Cloyd Heck, 249, 250, 253, 261, 
278-279, 287-288, 291-292, 294 
reorganization and expansion, 251, 253, 
255, 258-259 

Masonic support, 259-261 
faculty relations, 263-264, 267, 268 
construction and physical improve- 
ment, 264-266, 283-286 
accreditation and recognition, 267-268, 
279, 293-294 

student dissent, 271-278 
improved financial condition, 282-283, 
290, 294, 296 

cooperative war effort, 279-282 
dormitory system, 287-289 
Mason, Otis Tufton, 135, 151, 181 
Masonic Grand Lodge, 243, 265 
Maury, Matthew Fontaine, 149 
May, John Frederick, 125-126 
Medical Center, 243, 262, 268 

See also Hospital; Medical Depart- 

Medical Department, 47-48, 113-114, 123- 
iM. 157. 176, 177. 215. 2“. Db 2 37> 

opening after delay, 46-48 

Medical Department ( cont’d ) 
locations, 48, 115-116, 123-125, 176-177, 

exercises suspended 1834-1839 and for 
part of war, 113 

relation to College and Trustees, 133, 

I 57> 177 

student fees, 114, 222 
“National Medical College,” 115 
degree in pharmacy, 143 
Department of Dental Surgery, 15 1 
full-time schedule, 198 
funds to assure accreditation, 231, 237 
proposed affiliation with Garfield, 243 
Medical Center, 262, 297, 298 
new hospital, 283, 284 
Meigs, Henry, 33 
Meigs, Josiah, 28, 39, 112, 149 
Meigs, Return Jonathan, 28 
Meitner, Lise, 269 
Mercer, Charles F., 31, 33 
Merrick, William M., 13 1 
Mess, Carl Joseph, 231 
Meyer, Agnes E., 300 
Meyer, Eugene, 300 
Meyer Foundation, 300 
Miller, Hugh, 244 
Miller, Thomas, 231 
Mitchell, William Lendrum, 180 
Monroe, James, 28, 32, 33-34, 285 
Montague, Andrew P., 153 
Morrill Act of 1862, see Gallinger- 
Boutell Amendments 
Morris, Edward Karrick, 306, 307 
Morse, Bryan, 247, 278 
Mount Vernon Alcove, 200 
Moxley, Marcellus King, 12 1 
Munroe, Charles E., 153, 154, 174, 202, 

Musmanno, Michael Angelo, 236 

Names of institution, 1, 32, 145, 191 
National Association of Presidents of 
State Universities, 201 
National College of Pharmacy, 194 
National Defense Council, 280 
National Law Center, 299 
National Medical College, the Medical 
Department of Columbian Univer- 
sity, see Medical Department 
National University, 290 
National Veterinary College, 176 
National Youth Administration, 273 
Neale, Rolland Heber, 112 
Neblett, Thomas F., 273 



Needham, Charles Willis, 12 3 
concern with finances, 184, 187, 194, 
l 9j-i97, 200-203 

day vs. night students, 184, 183, 191- 
192, 195 

“New Plan,” 185-186, 192-194, 198 
restoration of nonsectarian control, 

student activities, 199, 206 
attitude of University, 198-199, 203-205 
Negroes, admission of, 291-292 
Newcomb, Simon, 15 1 
Newlands, Francis Griffith, 203 
Newton Theological Seminary, 50, 51 
Nielsen, Fred, 199 
Norris, Sandy, 263 
Nurses’ School, 221, 268 
Nutting, Charles Bernard, 299 

Office of Coordinator of Scientific Ac- 
tivities, 290 

Office of Education, 282 
Office of Scientific Research and De- 
velopment, 282 
Olmsted, Frederick Law, 286 
Oppenheimer, Robert, 270 
Ould, Robert, 112 
Owen, Frederick Denison, 193 

Pairo, Richard E., 261-262 
Panhellenic Council, 246, 272, 304 
Park and Planning Commission, 283 
Parks, John, 116, 262 
Patent and Research Education Founda- 
tion, 289-290 
See also Law School 
Patent, Trademark, and Copyright 
Foundation, 290 
See also Law School 
Pattison, Robert Everett, 112 
Peale, James, 33, 193 
Pershing, John J., 236 
Peter, George, 29 
Peter, Robert, 29 

Physical education, 91-92, 219, 225, 242, 
247, 288 

Pixlee, James E., 261, 278 

Poindexter, Abram M., 86, 109, 168 

Poindexter, William M., 162 

Political Sciences, College of, 198, 220 

Pomroy, Rebecca, 120 

Porter, David, 50 

Potomac Company, 13-14 

Pound, Roscoe, 236 

Powell, John Wesley, 150-151 

Prajadhipok, King of Siam, 256 

Prentiss, Stephen, 98 
Preparatory School, 5, 39, 47, 51, 58-59, 
68-69, 7 2 > 9 2_ 93) 9 < 5 ) 108, 1 13, 122, 
130-131, 134, 145, 148, 158, 160, 1 65, 

President’s House, 45, 92, 119, 121, 142, 
143. i9J. 3 00 

Pritchett, Henry Smith, 204-205 
Public and International Affairs, School 
of, 302 

Public Law, Graduate School of, 299 
See also Law School 

Quigley, R. Lucien, 220 
Quigley, William, 278 

“Rabbit Hole,” 248 
Rawlings, Richard Herndon, 112 
Reed, Walter, 181 
Reinhart, William Jennings, 278 
Reynolds, Enoch, 28, 45, 56, 66, 67 
Rhee, Syngman, 292 
Rice, Luther, 2, 5, 75, 82, 155, 160, 243, 

preparation for mission, 15-19 
activity as Baptist, 19-25, 28-29 
treasurer and agent, 56-66, 68-71, 81 
Richards, Zalmon, 93 
Richmond, Charles A., 237 
Riley, John Campbell, 123 
Rockefeller, John Davison, 178, 188 
Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 270 
Root, Elihu, 197 
Rothwell, Andrew, 96, 132 
Rubio, Pascual Ortiz, 256 
Rudolph, Frederick, 12, 240 
Ruediger, William Carl, 198, 220, 222, 
2 44 

Ruggles, William, 39, 52, 72-73, 92, 132, 
146, 181 

Rush, Richard, 13, 47, 68 
Russell, Frederick, 181 
Ryland, Robert, 95, 112, 180 

St. Rose’s Industrial School, 219, 232 
Samson, George Whitefield, 109-m, 

wartime president, 117, 119-123 
physical and educational expansion, 
125, 128-132 

administrative problems, 135-141 
Sargeant, John, 33 
Sarton, George, 225 
Sayao, Bidu, 292 
Schoenfeld, Hermann, 174, 244 
School of Pharmacy, 302 


Scottish Rite Fellowship, 260 
Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, 259-261 
Scull, Sarah S., 166 
Seal and colors, 192-193 
Sedgwick, Myma Pauline, 193 
Semple, Robert B., 66 
Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, 284 
Sewall, Thomas, 39, 47-49, 148 
Sherwood, Adiel, 112 
Shute, Samuel Moor, 132, 142 
Sino-Soviet Studies, Institute for, 302 
Sites and buildings, College Hill, 28-29, 
34-36, 84, 87, 89, 91, 93, 96-99, 119- 
122, 128-129, 157, 162-164 
early medical buildings, 48, 114-116, 
I2 3 _I2 S 

early law buildings, 48-49, 124, 129, 

H Street location, 162, 164-165, 175- 
177, 187, 188-191, 196-197, 208-209, 

temporary quarters, 209-210, 216, 221, 

West End, 216-221, 227, 229, 232, 239, 
240, 242-243, 264-267, 285-286, 299- 
300, 302, 304 

Smith, Charles Sidney, 174, 202 
Smith, Lilian Wright, 263 
Smith, Luther Andrew, 261 
Smith, Samuel Harrison, 68, 71 
Smith, Sherrill, 207 
Smoot, Samuel, 68 

Southern Baptist Convention, 105-108, 

Southern Conference, 305 
Spanish American War, 179-180 
Sponsored research, 280-282, 290-291, 
2 95 

Stahley, Jacob Neil, 288 
Stanton, Edmund McMasters, in 
Stanton, Frederick Perry, 112 
Staughton, James M., 39, 47, 148 
Staughton, William, 21, 38, 44-46, 52-54 
head of Theological Institution, 24 
president of College, 39-40, 61, 73 
Sterrett, James McBride, 202, 204, 227 
Stickney, William, 143 
Stockton, Charles Herbert, 214-215, 222- 
22 3 > 22 4' 22 7 

reorganization of 1910, 209, 213-215 
purchase of 2023 G Street, 216, 220-221 
era of good feeling, 222-224, 226-227 
Storrs, Henry Randolph, 3 1 
Stow, Baron, 53, 67-68, 71, 99, 101, in 
Strong, Mrs. Henry A., 265 
Student Army Training Corps, 229-230 


Student Council, 224, 288 

Student enrollment, 38, 55, 72, 96, 102, 

108, 122, 130-131, 157, 162, 171, 187, 
192, 240, 255, 281, 287 

Student publications, 198, 246, 271 
Students, 94, 191, 204-205, 222-224, 230, 
234- 2 35. 2 4 2 . 246-247, 288-289 
commencement procedure, 51-55 
employed students, 124, 128, 129, 184- 
185, 191, 195 

geographical distribution, 104-106, 108- 

109, 161-162 

housing and food, 96-98, 130, 248, 286- 
289, 304 

military service, 117, 179-180, 225-226, 

rules of conduct, 42-46, 99, 273, 304 
unrest and dissent, 72-73, 99-101, 270- 

278, 303-304. 308 

Summer sessions, 175, 222, 251 
Swarthout, Gladys, 295 
Swisher, Charles Clinton, 174, 244 
Szilard, Leo, 270 

Taft, William Howard, 241 
Teachers College, 220 
Teller, Edward, 268-270 
Theological Department, 38, 41, 44, 50- 

51. 232-133 

Theological Institution, 24-26, 38, 76 
Thomas, John Charles, 292 
Thompson, Ford, 253 
Thurston, Mabel Nelson, 167 
Tigert, John James, 241 
Tillema, John Albert, 32-33 
Tindall, William, 157 
Truman, Harry S., 292 
Trustees and Corporation of Columbian 
College, Charter amendment, 145 
duties of Trustees and Overseers, 142 
increase of endowment, 145 
Trustees and Corporation of Columbian 
University, election of president, 

1 <59-273 

“University Plan,” 147-157, 175-178 
relocation, 159-164 
sectarian control, 178-183 
Trustees of Columbian College in the 
District of Columbia, appeals for 
aid, 35, 56-59, 65-66, 84-85, 88-89 
Charter rights and duties, 32, 33, 141- 

election of presidents, 44-46, 78, 135- 
237. 138, 140-141 

financial administration, 56, 57, 66, 
68-71, 81, 97, 108-109, 1 19, 128-129 


Trustees of Columbian College ( cont’d ) 
legal status of property, 35, 74-7 5 
ordinances, 36, 37, 41-44, 52, 84, 96 
preparatory, law, and medical depart- 
ments, 47, 49, 115, 124, 128, 131 
Trustees of Columbian University, elec- 
tion of president, 178-182 
George Washington Memorial As- 
sociation, 189-190 
“New Plan,” 185-186 
Trustees of George Washington Uni- 
versity, 279, 283, 30J, 306 
alumni relations, 199, 298-299 
Attorney General’s investigation, 207- 
209, 213 

Carnegie pension plan, 194-195, 204- 

discontinuance of schools, 231, 232, 

election of presidents, 207, 209, 227, 
238, 241, 248, 294, 300, 303-30 6 
faculty relations, 201-206, 263, 268, 
287, 298-299, 303 

funds and endowments, 234, 260-261, 
282, 311 

Gallinger-Boutell Amendments, 200- 

George Washington Memorial As- 
sociation, 202 

George Washington University move- 
ment, 195-197 

land acquisition and construction, 216, 
2 3 2_2 33> 2 4°" 2 43> 264-267, 283-287, 
298, 302, 303 

preparations for wars, 223-226, 228-229, 

Tucker, Henry Holcombe, 112 
Tupper, Fred Salisbury, 298 
Tuve, Merle Antony, 269 

University Center, 304 

Van Ness, John Peter, 48, 74, 188 
Van Ness Park, 187, 188-191, 196, 197 
Van Vleck, William C., 222, 244, 277 
Veditz, Charles William August, 220 
Victory Council, 280 

Wait, Samuel, 47, 112 
Walcott, Charles D., 202 
War of 1861-1865, iio-iii, 117-122, 125- 
126, 133-134, 13J 

Ward, Lester Frank, 131, 181-182 
Wardman, Harry, 232 
Warwick Memorial, 243 
Washington College of Engineering and 
Mechanical Arts, see Engineering, 
College of 


Washington Conference on Theoretical 
Physics, 269-270 
Washington, George, 218 
Washington, General George, 40, 189, 
»93, 243, 259 

bequest of canal stock, 12-13, 14 
adoption of name, 189, 190 
the Mason, 259, 260 

Washington Infirmary, 115-116, 119, 123 
Waterville College, see Colby College 
Webb, William Benning, 112 
Weightman, Roger C., 51, 68 
Welling, James Clarke, 141, 172 
increased endowment, 143-147, 168- 
169, 171 

“University Idea,” 147-155 
new University buildings, 150, 164, 

sale of College Hill, 156-157, 159, 162- 

Baptist Education Society, 170-17 1 
West, Warren Reed, 258 
Wheeler, John, 270 
White, Alice J., 160 
White, Henry, 229 
White, William James Hamilton, 125 
Whitman, Benaiah L., 173-180, 182-183 
Whitman, Walt, 120 
Wigner, Eugene Paul, 270 
Wilbur, William Allen, 174, 191, 202, 

. 257 

Wiley, Harvey Washington, 154, 181 
Willis, Henry Parker, 198, 220 
Willoughby, Westel Woodbury, 198 
Wilson, Logan, 301 
Wilson, William Lyne, 112, 13 3- 134 
Wirt, William, 65 
Withers, John, 86, 89, 129, 160, 163 
Wolcott, E. P., 261 
Wolcott Fellowships, 261 
Wolcott Foundation, 261 
Wood, Leonard, 236 
Woodhull, Maxwell VanZandt, 212, 216, 
218, 220, 225, 237, 238 
Woods, Alva, 44, 46, 112 
World War I, 222, 225, 226, 228-230, 
231, 246 

World War II, 279-281 
Worthington, Augustus S., 203 

Yarrow, Henry Crecy, 203 
Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.CA., 199-200, 206 

Zahn, Arthur David, 288 
Zimbalist, Efrem, 292 
Zuckert, Eugene M., 298-299